The first speaker said
Fear fire. Fear furnaces
Incinerators, the city dump
The faint scratch of a match.

The second speaker said
Fear water. Fear drenching rain
Drizzle, oceans, puddles, a damp
Day and the flush toilet.

The third speaker said
Fear wind. And it needn’t be
A hurricane. Drafts, open
Windows, electric fans.

The fourth speaker said
Fear knives. Fear any sharp
Thing, machine, shears
Scissors, lawnmowers.

The fifth speaker said
Hope. Hope for the best
A smooth folder in a steel file.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Francis's poem Paper Men To Air Hopes And Fears


  1. ea says:

    or the fifth speaker can hope for a drawer. But what are the chances? lol.

    On another note, it’s interesting that Robert Francis’ prifle pic is of (his grave in?) an old family plot. I’ll be sure to post one of the Vaughan family plot in Fort Ann, NY that goes back seven generations from when those boys (David and Thomas) rowed over from Wales.

  2. katie says:

    this is such an awsome poem. You have to really read it to understand it.

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