Bed fellow by Susan Brown;Young poet;Poem

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Immediately, the poem's neat and simple first line catches my attention by personifying the pillow and conveying its intimacy with a speaker who is present throughout as both narrator and subject. The dual perspective of this poem is one of its virtues.

The poem conveys intimacy in this first line, and then further develops the conceit, with lines like "it warms its handsunder soft regular breaths". The line "My eyelashes tickle its chin" adds a comic touch to the stanza's end.

The second stanza begins with a new twist - the pillow copying the speaker. To derive such a notion from a simple image, the creative eye must be seeing further than the object before it.

The poem could be an examination of a real object, or it could be a dream. The image of the speaker's mould on the pillow provides an effective ending, perhaps suggesting some provocative questions, such as why the pillow wants to copy the speaker.

Bed Fellow.

My pillow knows my head.

At night, it cups its hands, takes a deep breath in and sucks me into subconsciousness.

It licks my cheek, and smells my hair.

It listens to my dreams and warms its hands under soft regular breaths.

Then it strokes my temples and soothes my sleepy brow.

My eyelashes tickle its chin.

I think my pillow copies me, because in the morning it has taken my mould and smells like my shampoo.

SUSAN BROWN.

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