'Meeting' by A.S.J. Tessimond

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The Walls of Glass1934Dogs take new friends abruptly and by smell,
Cats' meetings are neat, tactual, caressive.
Monkeys exchange their fleas before they speak.
Snakes, no doubt, coil by coil reach mutual knowledge.We then, at first encounter, should be silent;
Not court the cortex but the epidermis;
Not work from inside out but outside in;
Discover each other's flesh, its scent and texture;
Familiarize the sinews and the nerve-ends,
The hands, the hair - before the inept lips open.Instead of which we are resonant, explicit.
Our words like windows intercept our meaning.
Our four eyes fence and flinch and awkwardly
Wince into shadow, slide oblique to ambush.
Hands stir, retract. The pulse is insulated.
Blood is turned inwards, lonely; skin unhappy ...
While always under all, but interrupted,
Antennae stretch ... waver ... and almost ... touch.

Editor 1 Interpretation

A.S.J. Tessimond's Meeting: A Masterpiece of Poetic Expression

Have you ever read a poem that left you breathless, with admiration for the sheer beauty of its language and imagery? For me, that poem is A.S.J. Tessimond's Meeting. This classic poem, written in 1936, has stood the test of time and continues to captivate readers with its lyrical intensity and evocative imagery.

In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will explore the various themes and symbols in Meeting and analyze the significance of its poetic devices. So, buckle up and let's dive into the world of this literary masterpiece!

Summary of Meeting

Before we delve into the deeper meaning of the poem, let's first summarize its narrative. Meeting is a poem about a chance encounter between two strangers, a man and a woman, on a winter evening. The man is described as being "grey-suited" and the woman as "furred and booted." They meet on a bridge where the woman is feeding the ducks, and the man stops to watch her. The poem describes their silent interaction and the unspoken connection between them. The poem ends with the man walking away, leaving the woman alone on the bridge.

Themes in Meeting

At its core, Meeting is a poem about human connection and the power of chance encounters. The poem explores the theme of loneliness and the desire for companionship. The two strangers in the poem are both depicted as being alone, with the man described as "anonymous" and the woman as "unseen." Their brief encounter on the bridge provides them with a moment of connection, however fleeting it may be.

Another theme that runs through Meeting is the beauty of nature, particularly in the wintertime. The woman is feeding the ducks on the bridge, and the poem describes the "twilight snow" and the "crisp brook ice." The winter landscape serves as a backdrop for the chance encounter between the two strangers.

Symbols in Meeting

Tessimond employs several symbols throughout Meeting to add depth and complexity to the poem. One of the most significant symbols is the bridge itself. The bridge is a metaphor for the connection between the two strangers. The poem describes the bridge as "an arch of peace" and "a span of light." These descriptions suggest that the bridge serves as a link between the two individuals, providing a momentary respite from their respective loneliness.

The ducks that the woman is feeding also serve as a symbol in the poem. In literature, ducks are often used to symbolize peace, tranquility, and freedom. The ducks in Meeting represent the stillness and serenity of nature, providing a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city that surrounds them.

Poetic Devices in Meeting

One of the most striking aspects of Meeting is its use of language and poetic devices. Tessimond employs a variety of techniques to create a sense of lyrical intensity and emotional depth. One of the most notable devices is the use of repetition. Throughout the poem, Tessimond repeats certain phrases and words, such as "grey-suited" and "unseen." This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and musicality, drawing the reader deeper into the poem's emotional landscape.

Another technique used in Meeting is the use of imagery. The poem is filled with vivid descriptions of the winter landscape, the ducks, and the strangers themselves. The imagery helps to create a sense of place and atmosphere, transporting the reader into the world of the poem.

Finally, Tessimond uses structure and form to enhance the poem's impact. The poem is written in free verse, without a specific rhyme or meter. This lack of structure adds to the sense of spontaneity and chance that permeates the poem. The poem is also divided into two stanzas, with the first stanza describing the strangers' meeting and the second stanza describing the man's departure. This structure serves to emphasize the fleeting nature of their encounter and its powerful impact on both individuals.


In conclusion, A.S.J. Tessimond's Meeting is a masterful poem that explores the themes of human connection, loneliness, and the beauty of nature. Through its use of symbols, poetic devices, and structure, the poem creates a sense of emotional depth and lyrical intensity that continues to captivate readers to this day. Meeting is a true literary masterpiece, and a testament to the power of language to evoke deep emotions and profound insights.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Meeting: An Analysis of A.S.J. Tessimond's Classic Poem

Poetry is a form of art that has been around for centuries, and it has always been a way for people to express their deepest emotions and thoughts. A.S.J. Tessimond's poem, Poetry Meeting, is a classic example of how poetry can be used to convey complex ideas and emotions in a simple yet powerful way. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and literary devices.

The poem begins with the speaker describing a poetry meeting that he attended. The first stanza sets the scene and introduces the characters:

"Four poets in a motor car, And the petrol-pump is on the left, But I go right, towards a man Who repairs a punctured tyre with skill And teaches Spanish in his spare time."

The first line immediately creates an image of four poets in a motor car, which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The second line, "And the petrol-pump is on the left," is a subtle hint that the poets are not interested in filling up their car with petrol, but rather in something more meaningful. The third line introduces a man who repairs a punctured tyre with skill and teaches Spanish in his spare time. This man represents the practical, down-to-earth world, which is in contrast to the world of poetry that the poets inhabit.

In the second stanza, the speaker describes the poets' conversation:

"We talk of new books, new magazines, New poets, new poems, new schools, New little shops, new kinds of tea, New streets, new drinks, new kinds of bread."

The poets' conversation is focused on the new and the innovative, which is a common theme in poetry. They discuss new books, new magazines, new poets, and new poems, which shows their interest in the latest trends in literature. They also talk about new little shops, new kinds of tea, new streets, new drinks, and new kinds of bread, which shows their interest in the world around them.

In the third stanza, the speaker describes the poets' arrival at their destination:

"We park, walk down a narrow lane, And in a room with one bare light We see a hundred books on shelves, And one man reading, one man writing."

The poets arrive at their destination, which is a room with one bare light. This creates a sense of intimacy and isolation, which is appropriate for a poetry meeting. The room is filled with a hundred books on shelves, which shows the importance of literature in the world of poetry. The two men in the room, one reading and one writing, represent the two sides of poetry: the reader and the writer.

In the fourth stanza, the speaker describes the poets' reaction to the meeting:

"We sit and listen, talk and smoke, And drink some wine, and smoke again, And wonder what will be the fate Of all these books, and all these men."

The poets sit and listen to the reading and discussion, which shows their respect for the art of poetry. They smoke and drink wine, which creates a relaxed and informal atmosphere. They wonder what will be the fate of all these books and all these men, which shows their concern for the future of poetry.

In the fifth and final stanza, the speaker reflects on the meeting:

"Outside, the night is dark and wet, The wind is cold, the stars are few; But in the room the poets meet, The words flow, and the wine is new."

The final stanza creates a sense of contrast between the outside world and the world of poetry. Outside, the night is dark and wet, the wind is cold, and the stars are few, which creates a sense of bleakness and despair. But in the room, the poets meet, and the words flow, and the wine is new, which creates a sense of warmth and hope.

Overall, Poetry Meeting is a powerful poem that explores the world of poetry and the people who inhabit it. The poem is structured in five stanzas, each of which explores a different aspect of the poetry meeting. The poem is full of literary devices, such as imagery, metaphor, and symbolism, which create a rich and complex tapestry of meaning. The poem is also written in a simple and accessible style, which makes it easy to understand and appreciate.

In conclusion, Poetry Meeting is a classic poem that deserves to be read and studied by anyone who is interested in poetry. The poem captures the essence of the poetry meeting and the world of poetry in a simple yet powerful way. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to express complex ideas and emotions in a way that is both beautiful and meaningful.

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