Study Guide

Blessing the Boats - From New Poems (2000), "what i think when i ride the train" Summary & Analysis

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From New Poems (2000), "what i think when i ride the train" Summary

This poem begins by merging the images of the couplers' parts linking trains to the knuckles of the poet's father. She remembers his hand, "hard and black and swollen" from doing the hard work of making train parts. His hardworking hands compare to the "lugs and bolts" in a toolbox owned by a rich man.

Although in the course of his work her father suffers broken bones, one every year, the couplers he makes for trains never break. She reads about train wrecks where the couplers never break even though the trains jump the track, and thinks about her father, who made "the best damn couplers/in the whole white world." Her father has sacrificed his life doing superior...

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This section contains 411 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Blessing the Boats Study Guide
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