A few minutes ago, I stepped onto the deck
of the house. From there I could see and hear the water,
and everything that’s happened to me all these years.
It was hot and still. The tide was out.
No birds sang. As I leaned against the railing
a cobweb touched my forehead.
It caught in my hair. No one can blame me that I turned
and went inside. There was no wind. The sea
was dead calm. I hung the cobweb from the lampshade.
Where I watch it shudder now and then when my breath
touches it. A fine thread. Intricate.
Before long, before anyone realizes,
I’ll be gone from here.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Raymond Carver's poem The Cobweb


  1. Sam says:

    The Frost poem is “Design,” but there’s no web in the poem. I do agree, perhaps, that the poem’s share an idea of fate. Frost’s poem has nothing, really, to do with the world of humans, but is nature focused. Carver’s poem shows the point where human meets nature. “The Cobweb,” and much of Carver’s writing for that matter, puts me in mind of James Wright– in particular, i think of “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota”. Note the endings for both poems. Both focus on revelation and an evaluation of one’s life.

  2. alan says:

    does this poem remind anyone of a Robert Frost poem about a spider and a cobweb? even the theme is similar.

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