Why did he promise me
that we would build ourselves
an ark all by ourselves
out in back of the house
on New York Avenue
in Union City New Jersey
to the singing of the streetcars
after the story
of Noah whom nobody
believed about the waters
that would rise over everything
when I told my father
I wanted us to build
an ark of our own there
in the back yard under
the kitchen could we do that
he told me that we could
I want to I said and will we
he promised me that we would
why did he promise that
I wanted us to start then
nobody will believe us
I said that we are building
an ark because the rains
are coming and that was true
nobody ever believed
we would build an ark there
nobody would believe
that the waters were coming

Analysis, meaning and summary of W.S. Merwin's poem Before The Flood

1 Comment

  1. Tryggvi says:

    I believe its a true historical happening, and it was close to 10.000 years ago, at the end of the ice-time socalled. God lived on an island with Adam and Eve and thousends of other holy beings. It was the golden time when we all where happy. Then there came a clift between god and his people and most of them turned against god and “his people” whent away before the flood, to Ireland. 150 woman and 3 men. And from there they whent to Egypt and India and futher east. The devils took over the heavenly reagions and we are still run bye devils. And the true holy beings are hidden, hard to find. Anyway I believe in the flood. But it happened in the north. The jews come from there also. They came from freshly flooded nordic sea around 8000 years ago. And met Abraham coming from Ur. He brought the the religion of power from Sumer. He said the old god of love is dead, and now its time for the powergod. We are in a world of wars. Every bit of land and piece you have to fight for! And there we are today. All fighting for something we do not remember what is anymore. Just fighting for its own sake.

    I like your poem.
    It has to do with a great wonder of true stories that nobody take seriously any more…


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