The serene tone of the poem appeals to the listener to the extent that the calmness associated with sleep resounds through the course of the poem. In the first verse, the various implied meanings of sleep are revealed. The poet affirms in the poem that sleep denotes a deep slumber, sexual relationships, dreams and rejuvenation of life. The poem has limited full stops, with five full stops totally present in the poem. No verse ends with a full stop, and therefore each verse flows into another. Due to this, the poet utilizes the technique of enjambment, as lines flow into each other. This is done to signify the temporariness of the sleep, as well its constancy and non interruptions. The poem has no rhyme scheme or particular pattern and therefore can be said similar to a paragraph, rather than recited. The poem consists of many repetitions. Besides the phrase “I would like”, “from the grief at the center of your dream” is consecutively repeated. This could be done to emphasize a point strongly, so that even though the phrase may sound undemanding, it asserts decision due to the repetition.Order now
The narration is in first person. The narrator addresses a male person. The tone of the poem, though it may seem polite and undemanding initially, exerts a demanding impression as it proceeds. The poet states simply in the start of the poem “I would like”. However, through the poem this phrase is repeated seven times in all, and thus it take on a meaning that asserts authority in an unassuming manner. This is probably the manner in which the poet also wishes to act. In the patriarchal society, the poet wishes the women to have the power to liberate themselves.
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
The poet desires the feminine role to be as vital as air itself. Though women are essential to a man’s life, just like the air, they must not be consumed wholly. As soon as they are liberated from that permanent bondage, they can assume a necessary role in the society, one that does not revolve around the fascination of their body.
The first two line of the poem are identical, but with the comma situated at different instances. Thus the sentence connotes two different meanings.
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
The first line implies that the narrator would like to watch the addressee as he lay asleep. However the second line implies that the poet would like to watch the addressee, as she lay sleeping. The lines try to establish a balanced society. But the improbability associated with the likelihood of the first instance occurring when the addressed is asleep as the poet watches on, threatens to strike an imbalance in the system. The poet further states that she would like to sleep with the man, and enter his sleep too through the dreams that take shape.
The desire of the poet to accompany the man, establishes her wish to play an equally important role in the world.
and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
The line however has paradoxical ideas because if the forest was lucent it would not consist of leaves that are bluegreen. It would also be impossible to witness the wavering movement of the forests. This is done to indicate the unreality of the event, at the same time providing hope for its probability. The role that the poet assumes is not only that of a partner, and one that helps overcome the worst fears but also the role of a rescuer.
I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
With the poet’s aid and extended friendship in the form of a white flower or a word, the addressee could overcome the grief and troubles that centred his life. The poet metaphorically compares her ability to drive the man to safe to a boat that would act as a safety vessel.
The poem may seem to be a romantic one that calls for sexual relationship between individual. However it can also indicate the awakening of the woman’s voice, as she lay originally sleeping. This voice will liberate the woman so that she may assume a necessary role. At this time, the sleeping side-by-side seems to affirm equality of status and importance.