Train rising out of sea found on the R train

I found this poem, “Train Rising out of the sea” by Josh Ashbery, on the R train.

The first thing that caught my eye is the image that accompanies the poem, specifically it reminds me of the tile arts we see around subways, then I notice the subway tracks and photo the tiles are made up of. It compliments the poem well since the poem is one whole sentence, but broken up into three stanzas. I personally think this poem was chosen because it had the word train in it, connecting to the fact that people who would be seeing this poem are riding a train. I didn’t see any connection of the title to the poem itself till the last line “…Built to prevent you from being towed to shore.”(Line 11). From what I can get, The audience, us, is being compared to a train, sunken into the sea. the lines ” We need more night for the sky, more blue for the daylight That inundates our remarks before we can make them…”(Line 1-2) is the speaker telling us we need more time to think about what people do before we end up lingering on about our actions till we’re stranded “Like an island just off shore, one of many, that no one notices…”(line 9-10). Personally, I don’t think this poem can be accessible for general reader since it left me wondering what it is trying to say.

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