Poem with an explanation: Eyes and a wolf

Eyes closed,
     seeing.

A wolf follows,
growls,
snarls,
and at the moment,
     falling off a cliff.

 

Eyes open,
     darkness.

A wolf follows,
growls,
snarls,
and at the edge of the cliff,
     a bridge appears,
     and then a glen.

Peace.

 

This poem is surreal in nature.  It expresses an idea through imagery that has an imaginative quality.

The literal explanation of the poem, is that someone is having a dream.  The dream has a very bad situation, that is not just bad in the short term, but bad in the long term.  Then in the poem, the person wakes up, still fells the negative long term feeling from the dream, but then realizes it wasn’t real, and relaxes.

The first stanza, is a contradiction.  The first line says “Eyes closed” the second line says “seeing”.  This is meant to set the tone of the surreal poem.  In a literal sense, it describes the person dreaming: their eyes are closed, but they see the dream.

The second stanza describes the bad situation in the dream.  The bad thing in some way hounds the person (a wolf follows), gets to the person and increases the dread (growls, snarls), and when the bad thing happens there is a short term negative impact (at the moment) and also a long term negative impact (falling off a cliff).  The bad feeling comes from something that does not end when it first happens, but it continues.

The second half of the poem, is separated from the first half.  It starts with a mirror stanza of “Eyes open, darkness.”  This stanza mirrors the first stanza, but in this case, it describes the person being awake.  Their eyes open, but because it is night, they see darkness.

The next stanza has the same first three lines as the second stanza (A wolf follows, growls, snarls).  This is meant to show, that when the person first wakes up, they feel as if the dream was real, and the bad thing is still there.

The next line in the stanza shows a change.  It keeps the cliff image, but instead of falling off, as in the dream, the person starts to come to a realization that the dream was not real (a bridge appears), and then they are in a place where they feel better (a glen).

The person realizes the dream was not real and that they are alright, and so they feel peace.