Lone Bather

The narrator described a boy who wished or longed to become a great swimmer. His bed became his pool. As he jumped to his bed, he feels like he was the greatest swimmer ever. He became a dolphin with a shoal using his thigh and flexible body. His imagination turned into reality as he closes his eyes and thinks of a swimming paradise. However, a dream is always a dream. The boy went back to reality as he heard someone threw a stone in his window.

The first stanza of the poem seemed to be difficult because it shows abundant signs and symbolisms that readers could not thoroughly understand the topic of the poem or the attack of the author to the aspect of creativity and imagination. The most difficult part in this stanza is the first three lines – Upon the ecstatic diving board the diver, / poise for parabolas, let’s go / let’s go his manshape to become a bird. In the first read, I can say that I could not understand the scenario of the poem because of the complexities of the diving board for water and bird for air but after reading it many times, it simply represents the depiction of the boy imagining himself as a diver with a high jump like a bird before coming to the water pool.

On the other hand, my favorite passage in this poem is in the second stanza – He rolls in his heap of fruit, / he slides his belly over / the melonrinds of water, curved and smooth and green. For me it illustrates the childish act of the boy as he imagines himself as a diver in a deep pool. His flexible body and astonishing moves give me an idea about the conviction of the boy to become a swimmer or it can also be seen as a frustration of thought as he wanted to pursue his dream.

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Lone Bather. p.44

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