| Quote #1
There was a woman
This is a pastoral poem, so it makes sense that even the act of sex is a celebration of natural scenery. The speaker has a very mature perspective of sex. He can talk about it openly without being juvenile or focusing on the pleasure that it gives him. He tries to uncover the source of his desire, which doesn’t have much to do with sex at all. The sudden shift into memory in these lines makes the encounter with the woman all the more mysterious.
| Quote #2
It hardly had to do with her.
We can imagine someone getting really offended if he/she knows that their lover thinks his or her desire "hardly had to do" with him/her. But, is it really so offensive? If that’s the way things are, then he is just being honest, and honesty is a very important part of any close relationship. Plus, she is associated with really happy memories, which can be kind of flattering. Most importantly, the speaker seems perfectly comfortable with the idea that she can relive her own memories through him.
| Quote #3
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
The relationship with the woman is more than just sexual, more than just a random hook-up. He eats with her, discusses her family history, and listens to her dreams. How does this change the way that we feel about the speaker?