for Students of English Worldwide
talking to strange men on the subway,
doesn't see me when gets on,
at Washington Street
but I hide in a booth at the side
and watch her worried, strained face --
the few years she has got left.
Until at South Station
I lean over and say:
I've been watching you since you got on.
She says in an artificial
voice: Oh, for Heaven's sake!
as if heaven cared.
But I love her in the underground
and her gray coat and hair
sitting there, one man over from me
talking together between the wire grates of a
Two Years Later
The hollow eyes of shock remain
Electric sockets burnt out in the
The beauty of men never disappears
But drives a blue car through the
openings (of a plug or of eyes)
a) pulled tight
b) forced beyond limit
a) made by man (not made by nature)
a) an outrageous surprise
b) a severe blow
1) "To lean over" means "to sit down."
2) "Strained" means "relaxed."
3) "To get on" means "to step outside."
4) "To care" means "to ignore."
5) "Skull" means "cranium."
6) "Artificial" means "fake."
7) "To remain" means "to go in hiding."
8) "Underground" is another word for "subway."
1) "the beauty of men never disappears"
a) mankind's character endures
b) men always look good
2) "her worried, strained face"
a) her wrinkled forehead
b) her anxious expression
3) "talking to strange men"
a) speaking to foreigners
b) chatting with unfamiliar people
4) "Oh, for Heaven's sake!"
a) my goodness!
5) "the wire grates"
a) metal grillwork
b) telephone booths
Describe the mother's reaction to the speaker (the "I") in the poem.
Where does the speaker predict (that is, talk about the future of) his mother's death?
Would you say the speaker is sneaky or straightforward?
Does the speaker believe in heaven's protection?
What words are clues?
What words seem to prove this?
Some people feel the speaker in this poem is describing and predicting a terrible pain. What do you think? Why?
"Hollow eyes of shock" is an image, a picture to the mind using language. Find an image in the last two lines of Two Years Later.