My father carries me across a field - George Szirtes

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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Does anyone know what this poem means? I am kind of stuck.
Here are the guided questions:
a) What seems to be the nature of the journey in the poem?
b) How are the 2 elements of people and landscape used to convey the emotional quality of the writer's experience?

My father carries me across a field.
It’s night and there are trenches filled with snow.
Thick mud. We’re careful to remain concealed

From something frightening I don’t yet know.
And then I walk and there is space between
The four of us. We go where we have to go.

Did I dream it all, this ghostly scene,
The hundred-acre wood where the owl blinked
And the ass spoke? Where I am cosy and clean

In bed, but we are floating, our arms linked
Over the landscape? My father moves ahead
Of me, like some strange, almost extinct

Species, and I follow him in dread
Across the field towards my own extinction.
Spirits everywhere are drifting over blasted

Terrain. The winter cold makes no distinction
Between them and us. My father looks round
And smiles then turns away. We have no function

In this place but keep moving, without sound,
Lost figures who leave only a blank page
Behind them, and the dark and frozen ground

They pass across as they might cross a stage.
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