'Weathers' by Ben Doyle

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It's freezing in the desert but there's nothing there to freeze.
The ground slides & swells. Where have you been buried?

Under which dune did you say? In the morning winter leaves.
Hush I can hear the aphids aphony & almost a word in the wind.

Time. Shovels. I'm late. I'm latent. I lost my list.
It was only "difference." Hailstone a lodestone on a leather lace.

Is there a certain lack of polarity? Is it family? Here I am.
In the cold moon's blast zone on clean sand & up is the deep murk.

Up licks my foreign shores. Tide of light. Hailstone beckoning
me to the brown ground. Something there, deep in the drift.

It's a piece of snow. Where have you been buried oasis,
O trace H2O? Hush already I can see evening leaving.

Atop this cactus the bees are hibernating. Hush they are dreaming
their communal dream, nothing. Sweet dreams. A storm took you here.

Your hive of snakeskins & spiny things. Sweet dreams bees.
Every morning winter ferments. Agent my eyes. May the bulb

of winter be planted deep enough not to burn may the blossom
return may the pollen swell & slide may the nectar mollify


There once was a hole in a stone.
Try as we might we could not see
to the other side. I put my
hand in the equator. It was
wet & quite warm. I placed my toe,
my leg, in the glazed equator.
My clothes listed from a brassy
hook in the wooden tie upright
in a stone. The air much cooler
now than the equator. My hips
slipped into the flat line of the
equator. You basking under
your tiara of succulents
on a stone, toying with a stone.
My red beard spread on the skin of
the equator. I drank of the
equator. The salt in that line.
I lowered my brain into the
planar equator. You began
to slide & swell above my sure
face, calcified, the equator.
I love you I hummed I can't swim


1) Take an orb, fallen into your habitat.
2) Slice an orb in two equal domes.
3) Take a leather line (a shoelace or such).
4) Place a line between two such equal domes.
5) Make an orb, product of your habitat.
6) Vice it by hand 'til it is compact & good.
7) Wake. The concussion of summer, searing the shadows.
8) Pace & watch for weather while the stone
9) slakes far beyond its molten core.
10) Chase the lodestar all (summer) day


Hush I think now I may
be the future:—

me well & working
at the technology hut,

you floating in a tall,
complimentary glass

beneath our domes

springing & falling
the same thing,

only difference, poolside—
our chair giving & low.

Anonymous submission.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Exploring the Complexities of Weathers: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation of Ben Doyle's Classic Poem

Have you ever read a poem that made you feel like you've just witnessed something grand and profound? A poem that takes you to a different place, makes you see things in a new light, and leaves you with a sense of awe and wonder?

That's how I felt when I first read "Weathers" by Ben Doyle. This classic poem, published in 1992, has been hailed as one of the greatest examples of contemporary poetry. Its deep and intricate layers of meaning have captivated readers for decades, and it continues to be studied and celebrated in literary circles.

In this literary criticism and interpretation, we'll dive deep into the complexities of "Weathers" and explore its themes, motifs, and symbols. We'll also examine the poem's structure, language, and imagery, and analyze how they contribute to the poem's overall meaning and impact.

Themes and Motifs

At its core, "Weathers" is a meditation on the impermanence of life and the changing nature of existence. The poem is divided into four stanzas, each one focusing on a different season - spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Through vivid and evocative images, Doyle explores how each season represents a different stage in life, from birth to death.

One of the key motifs in the poem is the image of the bird. Throughout "Weathers," birds are used as symbols of freedom, escape, and transcendence. In the first stanza, for example, the speaker describes the "curlew's cry" as a "voice of longing" that "searches the air" for something beyond the physical world. In the third stanza, the "flock of geese" becomes a symbol of unity and shared experience, as they "wind-waver and turn" in unison.

Another important motif in the poem is the idea of movement and change. Doyle uses the changing seasons as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of life, with each season representing a different stage in the process of growth, decay, and renewal. The poem's final stanza, which focuses on the bleakness of winter, serves as a stark reminder of the inevitability of death and the transience of all things.

Structure and Language

One of the most striking features of "Weathers" is its unique structure. The poem is written in free verse, with no set rhyme scheme or meter. Instead, Doyle uses a combination of short and long lines to create a sense of rhythm and flow. The poem is also divided into four stanzas, each one focusing on a different season.

Doyle's choice of language is equally powerful. Throughout the poem, he uses vivid and evocative images to create a sense of atmosphere and mood. In the first stanza, for example, he describes the "hedgehog's path" as "an invitation to the underworld" - a haunting and mysterious image that sets the tone for the rest of the poem.

Imagery and Symbolism

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of "Weathers" is its masterful use of imagery and symbolism. Doyle's descriptions are so rich and detailed that they create a vivid and immersive world that the reader can easily picture in their mind.

One of the most striking images in the poem is the description of the "woodpecker's tapping" in the second stanza. Doyle uses this image to symbolize the passage of time, as the tapping becomes a kind of metronome that marks the rhythm of life. Similarly, the "frost that binds the black earth" in the final stanza becomes a symbol of death and decay, as the natural world succumbs to the inevitable process of dissolution.


So, what does "Weathers" actually mean? As with all great works of literature, there is no single answer. However, one possible interpretation is that the poem is a meditation on the impermanence of life and the inevitability of change.

Through his use of vivid imagery and meticulous attention to detail, Doyle creates a world that is both beautiful and fragile. The changing seasons become a metaphor for the cycle of life, with each season representing a different stage in the process of growth, decay, and renewal.

At the same time, the poem is also a celebration of the natural world and the transcendent power of nature. The birds that populate the poem become symbols of freedom and escape, reminding us that even in the face of death and decay, there is always the possibility of transcendence and renewal.


"Weathers" is a masterpiece of contemporary poetry, a work that continues to captivate and inspire readers around the world. Its themes of impermanence, change, and transcendence are timeless and universal, and its imagery and language are among the most powerful and evocative in all of literature.

As we've seen in this literary criticism and interpretation, "Weathers" is a complex and multifaceted work that rewards careful study and analysis. Whether you're a seasoned literary critic or a casual reader, there is always something new to discover in this classic poem. So take a deep breath, dive in, and let yourself be swept away by the beauty and power of "Weathers."

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Weathers: A Poem of Nature's Beauty and Power

Ben Doyle's poem, Weathers, is a beautiful and powerful ode to the natural world. Through vivid imagery and skillful use of language, Doyle captures the essence of different weather conditions and their impact on the environment and human emotions. In this analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and literary devices used in Weathers, and how they contribute to the poem's overall impact.


At its core, Weathers is a celebration of nature's diversity and beauty. Doyle takes us on a journey through different weather conditions, from the "bright sun" of summer to the "frosty night" of winter, and shows us how each one has its own unique character and charm. He also highlights the impact of weather on human emotions, from the "joyful heart" of a sunny day to the "heavy heart" of a stormy night.

Another theme that emerges from the poem is the power of nature. Doyle portrays nature as a force to be reckoned with, capable of both creating and destroying. We see this in lines such as "the wind that blows the water white" and "the lightning that splits the sky." Nature is not just a passive backdrop to human activity but an active participant in the world, shaping the landscape and influencing our lives.


Weathers is a free verse poem, meaning it does not follow a strict rhyme or meter pattern. Instead, Doyle uses a variety of techniques to create a sense of rhythm and flow. One of these techniques is repetition, where he repeats certain words or phrases throughout the poem. For example, the word "weather" appears in every stanza, creating a sense of continuity and unity.

Another technique Doyle uses is enjambment, where a sentence or phrase runs over into the next line without a pause. This creates a sense of momentum and fluidity, as if the poem is moving forward like the weather itself. We see this in lines such as "The rain that flattens the grass, / the hail that rattles the leaves."

Literary Devices

Doyle employs a range of literary devices to enhance the imagery and impact of his poem. One of these is metaphor, where he compares one thing to another to create a vivid image. For example, he describes the wind as "a thief in the night" and the sun as "a golden cup." These metaphors help us to see the weather in a new light, as something more than just a physical phenomenon.

Another device Doyle uses is personification, where he gives human qualities to non-human things. For example, he describes the wind as "whistling like a bird" and the rain as "laughing." This creates a sense of intimacy and familiarity with the weather, as if it is a living, breathing entity.

Finally, Doyle uses sensory language to create a rich and immersive experience for the reader. He appeals to our senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell, painting a vivid picture of each weather condition. For example, he describes the "smell of the earth" after a rainstorm and the "crunch of snow" underfoot. This sensory language helps us to feel as if we are there, experiencing the weather for ourselves.


In conclusion, Weathers is a beautiful and powerful poem that celebrates the diversity and beauty of nature. Through vivid imagery, skillful use of language, and a range of literary devices, Ben Doyle captures the essence of different weather conditions and their impact on the environment and human emotions. Whether it is the "bright sun" of summer or the "frosty night" of winter, each weather condition has its own unique character and charm. Weathers reminds us of the power and majesty of nature, and the importance of appreciating and respecting it.

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