in a way,
being the one behind,
seeing the one ahead,
seeing the places move,
and thinking of,
the one behind,
This poem is about two people walking. One person is young and in good health. They are the person ahead. The other person is older and in poorer health. They are the person behind.
The poem is written from the perspective of the person behind. As they are walking behind the person ahead, they have a moment of contemplation. In a moment of introspection, they think of the irony of their situation (It’s funny, in a way, being the one behind).
They do this by seeing how they are now (slow, gasping), seeing the person ahead (fast, waving) (the person ahead is moving fast and they are waving to the person behind to come along), and thinking back.
They think back, to a time years before (to before) when they were the person ahead and someone walked behind them (seeing the places move). As they do, they think about (and thinking of) the person who was older and in poorer health (slow, gasping) and they have a moment (and having) where they finally understand what the person was going through (a realization).
This is a poem about how changing a place can change perspective. When the person behind was young and in good health they wanted the person behind them to hurry up and come along when they went for a walk. Now that they are the person behind though, they finally understand what it was like to be that other person. They realize the wrongness of what they used to do.
This is a free verse poem with some form elements. One form element is the repeat of the two lines slow, gasping. Those lines are lines four and five and fourteen and fifteen.
Another form element is the parallel between the first lines of slow, gasping and the lines fast, waving. The idea was to show a parallel difference.
Another form element is the similarity between the line being the one behind and the line seeing the one ahead.
The syllable count of the lines is 33612612336441235. Although this is just the way it worked out, there is a bit of a pattern. The first ten lines have a syllable count of 3361261233. This has a pattern of 33 612 612 33. Additionally, it is almost a mirror. If the last six and the last two of that part changed places, the syllable count would be 3361221633. That would be a mirror – 33612 … 21633.
Do you like poems with explanations?
M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!
To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog. Above is a poem with an explanation for the series. This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book. It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.