Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 10: Chad Haskins on "Still Waters" by Phyllis Wax

For Day 10 of 30 Days of The Five-Two, Chad Haskins sent in the following commentary on "Still Waters" by Phyllis Wax. —Gerald So

I love this poem. It is also a very timely topic. The extended metaphor of a gun to a protective lover is gripping and entertaining. The first two stanzas show how important this "dear persuader" has become. The speaker cannot sleep without the persuader..."my protector, my savior, my love."

The last stanza begins with the strong physical features which also provide the speaker with security. The speaker then calls the person "my faithful Roscoe," which I had to look up to learn that a “Roscoe” is a term used for a handgun in the 1920s and 30s. She shortens the term affectionately to “my hot Rod,” revealing the related sexual attraction.

The speaker concludes the poem with perhaps a biblical allusion to Psalms 23:4 by saying, "I fear nothing. You are with me...my salvation." Also, the title of the poem appears to come from Psalms 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." Perhaps the speaker is trying to show that this relationship is an extreme dependence, almost mocking it—the salvation "pocket rocket." —Chad Haskins

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