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Revolving Days by David Malouf Summary


  1. Read the poem
  2. About the poet
  3. Summary

About the poet– David Malouf is an Australian poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright and librettist. Though he would later become known abroad for his prose works, Malouf initially concentrated on poetry. His poetry collection Revolving Days: Selected Poems (2008), is divided into four sections: on childhood, then Europe, then relocating to Sydney, then travelling between Europe and Australia. He has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The poem was republished as the chief poem in Malouf’s poetry collection ‘Revolving Days’. In this poem, the poet reminisces the time when he was in love. His memories are still struck with him that he can’t get past them. In the beginning of the poem, the poet remembers the year when he fell in love, which according to him was a mistake. It was a short fling, and he had nowhere else to go; however it lasted for a long time. Then with the help of imagery, the poet describes the feeling of being in love. He describes buying shirts and using them in order to portray himself as a ‘lover’. He still remembers the color of the shirts. He bought them as experiments to see himself in a new way, while he was in love. He recalls the colors of the shirts: mint green, pink, a shirt called Ivy League which was tan colored with darker stripes, which was his first button-down collar. Now, in his present, whenever he is knotting his tie in front of his bathroom mirror, and recalls those days when he was in love. He remembers about all the promises that he and his lover made to each other, which could not be fulfilled.

Towards the conclusion of the poem, the poet uses the phrase ‘Revolving Days’ to assert the condition of his heart and mind. The poet has broken up with his lover. But still he writes this poem for her. He doesn’t even know where his ex lover is at now, nor he knows about her present lover. But the poet also asserts that he won’t disturb her in her present life. He is the same man like he was before. He knows that they are at distance, and he doesn’t expect a reply from her to this poem.

The poem deals with themes like love, memory, and transformation. It’s divided into three stanzas with uneven line distribution. There is no specific metre or rhyme scheme used in this poem.

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