The prospect of the woman's artistic control apparently shocks the impotent hero/poet at last into functionality, the desperately anticipated erection rises at last, "a cock stood on the rooftree
," and the rains come.
What response do I give to the Japanese builder of our missionary residence who has arranged for a crucial Shinto ceremony to be carried out in connection with the raising of the rooftree
of our new home?
And when the Zephyr burst above the fog into the splendid sun-flooded and wintry canyon of the South Boulder River, and the rooftree
of the Rockies appeared cold above us in the distance, then all that was lacking for Christmas was the choir of angels, the blare of trumpets, the tinsel and the bow.
As the second poem in the collection, it repeats (in "Watershed," its sixth section) to a remarkable extent these lines from the book's first poem, "The Return": Returning home by train to his mother's funeral, the poet races "the daylight's westward cycle/Across the groaning rooftree of the world.
Beneath him swings the rooftree that divides The east and west.
In "The Return" the poet speaks of "the groaning rooftree of the world"; in "Kentucky Mountain Farm" of "the ridgepole of the world," which, as he soon makes clear, is the same thing as "the rooftree that divides/The east and west.