It’s August and I have not
Read a book in six months
except something called The Retreat from Moscow
by Caulaincourt
Nevertheless, I am happy
Riding in a car with my brother
and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.
We do not have any place in mind to go,
we are just driving.
If I closed my eyes for a minute
I would be lost, yet
I could gladly lie down and sleep forever
beside this road
My brother nudges me.
Any minute now, something will happen.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Raymond Carver's poem Drinking While Driving


  1. Sammy bob joe says:

    I love this poem. It speaks to me.

  2. Tia Hazel says:

    This poem is very intresting and it makes you feel if you dinrk and drive you could be that hurt person for doing nothing wrong

  3. Keefo says:

    while i agree with Jockstrap that Carver may not be the most intellectually challenging of writers or include much challenging philosophies as such, it is important to note that this is not what contemporary American prose/poetry is about. It is about simple thought with deep meaning. The story and the meaning of the story are one and the same. Even if we look back to the beat writers of the 50’s and 60’s we can find the deepeset of meanings in the simplest of stories

  4. John says:

    To Jock Strap,
    I’m sure you would “blow Raymond Carver away” with the thoughts in your head. It sounds like you are a deep thinker. A real renaissance man. Indeed, Kurt Cobain would fit that category too. What a philosopher! You both are two of the finest poetic minds that the world has to offer. How do you not get more respect? I say it’s bullshit. You should be an award winning novelist/poet/songwriter. You should get all the chicks. You are clearly a winner in life. You deserve it. Because you are such an outstanding intellect.

    Seriously. Get off Carver’s nuts.

  5. Jock Strap says:

    I would blow this guy away with the thoughts in my head. I can’t beleive this guys famous and not me. Somewhere, Kurt Cobain is laughing at these poems. If u want to publish somthing good email me Carver… we’ll talk.

  6. jazlyn says:

    drinking and driving
    saturday it’s cold
    someone will pay
    someone will pay for where she lay
    she lay in the darkness
    she lay in the cold
    where someday she will lie
    millions of days old
    not here to spend time with me
    not here to laugh and cry
    somebody is now asking themself
    why why does she lie
    she lies in this darkness
    she lies in this cold
    because she wan’t reminded
    nor was she told
    not to drink and drive
    or here she would lie
    in this darkness in this cold
    lying without me
    eventually millions of days old
    she would lie here by herself
    with only comfort from me
    now you see why
    you don’t drink and drive
    or here you’ll be

  7. Bruce says:

    Adrienne is right on the money. Tommy, you must look deeper.

  8. adrienne m. hribko says:

    Please look beyond your predjudice to the obvious connotation of the title, and what it may imply… if you truly take into account the image that is being conjured, you could actually find something quite beautiful. Even the word “nevertheless”… think about it… “contrary” to the world around us, “contrary” to whatever shortcomings we perceive, the character perceives, he is relishing in the moment. I believe that, more than anything, Carver is making reference to the freedom of living in the moment, despite what tomorrow might bring. Quite lovely, with silence in a certain chaos, if you ask me..

  9. Tommy says:

    This is the last thing the world needs – a depressing reminder of nihilism and emptiness. This poem is without the descriptive beauty and force of RC’s short stories, which provide in their truth and economy their own answers and give a sense of the soul of the characters involved.

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