Poem with an explanation: Walking inside

It was very strange walking outside,
it wasn’t hot,
the mosquitos weren’t around,
and the man and dogs seemed content,
as they walked about,
that morning.

 In the soft light of the morning,
 that came from the sun outside,
 the nurse moved about,
 and checked if his forehead was hot,
 and saw that he seemed content,
 as she moved around.

As they walked around,
breathing the air of the morning,
they all felt content,
as they were outside,
where it wasn’t hot,
as they moved about.

 As the doctor walked about,
 she turned around,
 because she thought he might be hot,
 although it was morning,
 and there were clouds beyond the window outside,
 she wanted him to be content.

He smiled and felt content,
as he and the dogs walked about,
in the breeze outside,
and they felt it blow around,
in the morning,
when it wasn’t hot.

 She thought he might be hot,
 although he looked content,
 and although it was morning,
 she moved about,
 and turned the handle around,
 to block the sun from outside.

The morning started to feel hot,
and outside he did not feel content,
as he walked about and moved around.


This poem is a sestina.  There are two scenes in the poem.  The first scene is outside where a man is walking his dogs.  This scene is in the first, third, fifth, and seventh stanzas.  The second scene is in a hospital.  This scene is in the second, fourth and sixth stanzas.  The first scene is in the dream of a man in a hospital bed.  The second scene is in a hospital, where the man actually is.

In the first stanza, the man almost notices the unreality of his situation.  Things are not as he expected.  It wasn’t hot and there were no mosquitoes.  Things feel strange.  He doesn’t realize he is dreaming though.

In the second stanza, the nurse notices that the man seems content.  His outward look, reflects how he feels in his dream.

In the third stanza, the man continues his pleasant morning with his dogs.  In this stanza, there is only one part where the man notices a lack of something negative – where he notices it wasn’t hot.  This is the only indication he has that he is dreaming.  He realizes it less than he did in the first stanza.

The fourth stanza shows an action that is about to happen.  In the second stanza, the nurse thought the man was content, and so she did nothing.  In this stanza, the doctor wants the man to be content, and so she has the impetus to do something.  The doctor has less understanding than the nurse of how the man feels.  She also ignores the idea that it was morning and there were clouds outside.

In the fifth stanza, the man still feels content, and now has the additional positive of the breeze.  The breeze is focused on in two of the six lines of the stanza.  In the last line, there is the same slight sense that something negative is missing, when the man notices that it wasn’t hot.

The sixth stanza starts with a line that is somewhat of the opposite of the last line of the fifth stanza.  In the last line of the fifth stanza, the man noticed it wasn’t hot.  In the first line of the sixth stanza, the doctor thinks the man might be hot.  She goes two additional steps, and ignores the fact that he seemed content and that it was morning.  She ignored two things before, when she ignored that it was morning, and that there were clouds outside.  She then does something, and blocks the outside.  The doctor’s action was negative, although she intended something well.

In the last stanza, there is almost a contradictory image.  The stanza before ended with an effort to make the man cool.  In this stanza, for the first time, the man now feels hot in his dream.  The negativity goes further and he no longer feels content.  Additionally, the dogs are not mentioned in this stanza.  It is almost as if they have disappeared and the man is alone.

In this poem, there is a man in a hospital bed.  Because there is morning sunshine coming in through his window, he is having a pleasant feeling dream.  When the light is blocked, the man starts to feel bad.