Or purple with green rings, Or green with yellow rings,Or yellow with blue rings. (4-6)
You would never find anything like these in a store. You would have to tie-dye them and do some real imaginative work. What's interesting here, though, is that as imaginative as these nightgowns are, they're also kind of a logical progression. The purple one has green rings, then the green one has yellow rings, then the yellow one has blue rings. What about turquoise polka dots? Or magenta flowers?
None of them are strange, (7)
Strange is the rare version of reality that we have to seek out. These people haven't made the effort to be strange. They're too conformist. And what a shame it is.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,Drunk and asleep in his boots, (12-13)
This is the only literal and concrete bit of the poem. The rest describes possibilities and what things are not. But these sailors, they're good enough as they are, because they're too busy creating an awesome dream world in their dreamy little heads.