I like to see it lap the Miles
Lines 1-3 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
I like to see it lap the Miles —
- The speaker admires the speed and stamina of – what exactly? She only says that she likes to see "it" as it travels.
- The double-edged verb used here, "lap," immediately brings to mind two different actions. The speaker could either be describing a racehorse, flying through the laps of a racetrack for mile, or a cat, languidly lapping up miles like milk.
- Either way, something is moving across a landscape – fast.
And lick the Valleys up —
- Going off of the second meaning of "lap" in line 1, the image of the mystery animal "lick[ing] the valleys up" follows on this theme of eating and consumption. "It" is eager to eat up (metaphorically speaking) the distance it covers.
And stop to feed itself at Tanks —
- A final, eating-related metaphor appears here, as the mystery creature "stop[s] to feed itself at tanks" (3).
- Hmm. "Tanks"? What kinds of animals eat out of "tanks"? We're really starting to wonder what "it" really is.