I can't help but read in this poem a man who lost or never caught the feminine muse by the skirt, who never invited her into his breast, never allowed her to show her power, always asserted his own intelligence, his own know-how, his own sexual dominance, and now she's gone and he misses what he has never known. His curiosity is awakened by the lap of the water; the undulations of the tide whisper to him. It must feel like a dream that never came, something beyond, like a unvisited foreign land. Or maybe I'm biased; nevertheless, this poem makes me sad.
Snowbanks North of the House
by Robert Bly
Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six feet
from the house...
Thoughts that go so far.
The boy gets out of high school and reads no more books;
the son stops calling home.
The mother puts down her rolling pin and makes no more
And the wife looks at her husband one night at a party
and loves him no more.
The energy leaves the wine, and the minister falls leaving
It will not come closer—
the one inside moves back, and the hands touch nothing,
and are safe.
And the father grieves for his son, and will not leave the
room where the coffin stands;
he turns away from his wife, and she sleeps alone.
And the sea lifts and falls all night; the moon goes on
through the unattached heavens alone.
And the toe of the shoe pivots
in the dust...
The man in the black coat turns, and goes back down the
No one knows why he came, or why he turned away, and
did not climb the hill.