Everything you need to understand or teach I Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds.
In the first line, the speaker refers to "gates" and "colleges." The plural form of these words signals there are differences between the two adults being described. They are distinctly separate people, each coming from a different background and location. In the second and third lines the man emerges from under an ochre sandstone arch, which creates an earthy image of clay walls, tinted dark yellow or reddish brown, in the reader's mind. Combine the image of the sandstone arch with the "red tiles glinting like bent plates of blood," and an image of the southwestern United States emerges. Red ceramic tile roofs are a common architectural feature of Arizona and southern California, as are earthy brown walls. The "glinting" tiles suggest the sun's glare off the roof, which could also indicate the Southwest, a region known for its sunny, warm climate.
In contrast to the man's location, the... View more of the I Go Back to May 1937 Summary