Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I’ve been told won’t bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children’s handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they’ll die before I do, and I’ll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.

I’ve said that.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Raymond Carver's poem Fear


  1. sarah says:

    is there a specific reason why only two lines used exclamation points?

  2. Storm says:

    I, on March 2, 2005, too wrote a poem called fear. I wrote the poem for my 7th Grade English class and every one that read it said it was great so ya. I came across your poem searching for my poem on google. I alway thought it would be cool to come up on google (that’s how I am cause I’m 13 years old). Any way I think since we are both poets (in the sence that we both write poetry) I figured that I would share my poem with you. Any way here it is.

    Fear crawls into the room with envy and worry
    Together they over come me, suffocate me, smother me
    They dig my grave, condemn me with ever lasting hatered and spite
    They eat me alive

  3. paolo says:

    This poem is about the black hole, the one on the edge of which all of us are force to walk. It makes humans drink, writers write, him, both to the deepest length.

  4. chiara says:

    Honest and simple.Just the truth.That’s what we’r maid of,that’s what make our life worthing.But it’s amazing how our body can get uset to avery thing.

  5. harley nyckole says:

    this poem is very inspiring …it really touched me ..

  6. joel says:

    I think that this poem relates to me alot. Cause I am afriad when people want to bring up things from the past that I am not very happy about. Cause I am afriad to take small chances that everybody take.

  7. Juan Hincapié says:

    Fear of commenting this masterpiece; wouldn’t dare, master. (However, the final sentence punched me in the face; Carver’s greatness echoes here too —and its loud).

  8. Karen M. Wagner says:

    I believe this poem is full of insight into the authors attempt to live with the constant struggle of facing fear on a minute by minute basis every single day. I found it’s repetativeness to be enlightening and fearless and to be the driving force of eash word that followed. I enjoyed it’s “in your face” approach with nothing hidden.

  9. Brittni says:

    Ray Was my great uncle, I didn’t know him well, for he died 16 days before I was born. I believe that this poem, although repetitive, shows really what he was thinking, anyone who has had to go though death, whether scared or not, has got to have some kind of thought prosses on the subject. This, I believe was his.
    I love Ray’s work, it is my insperation for my own poetry.

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