by Robert Lowell
Where It All Goes Down
"Skunk Hour" is set on an island off the coast of Maine. In the first part of the poem, the speaker shows us the major players of the community, and it seems to take place during the daytime hours. The second half of the poem, however, takes place at night as the speaker journeys up the town's hill in his car. The town is deserted and he's abandoned the rich seaside description for a darker, lonelier look at things. We see dark streets and foraging skunks – and not much else.