Hi there rainforest! I noticed your post in the forums about this poem so I decided to come here and review it before reading your analysis.
The mood of the poem seems to be one of frustration. I noticed a lot of effortful-sounding words there, like “strain”, “exhausting”, “crashes”, “goddamn it”, “pressed”. The atmosphere feels very isolated, like there’s no one around the “I” on the road, since no one else is described. Even if there are other people, their focus is turned inwards.
The first stanza conveys a feeling of overwhelm. The speaker seems to be ‘done’ with the regular flow of things, which seems reflected in how they’re going against what we usually expect and stopping at a green light instead of a red.
The second stanza seems to expand on the emotion with figurative language, up to the line of reported speech, where the speaker declares “i need some peace”. This line acts as a turn, as they try to convert their feelings into action.
I’m not so clear what the speaker is ‘worsening’ in the third stanza. There wasn’t anything introduced in the first two stanzas that the speaker was making a mistake on or ruining. It’s also a bit puzzling that “home” is introduced in a simile in the second stanza but then appears as possibly a ‘real’ place in the final stanza, if that makes sense.
I like the central image of this poem. Stopping at a green light, then driving at a red light is a nice way to convey a lot of ideas and feelings. One of these led to my interpretation above as the speaker going against the norm. I also like how you used this image to begin and end the poem, as that helped make the ending satisfying in a way.
The second stanza had a lot of different figurative expressions. It felt like the individual images didn’t have enough space to develop on their own. “like an unexpected visitor” and “as if i'm a guest in my own home” are clearly related, but I kind of felt like having two comparisons in the span of a few lines was a bit much. And this next one is just a quibble about word choice, but “crashes” seems a lot more intense than “unexpected”. If the mismatch between the action and the “guest/ feeling” is intentional, then that works, but I just thought I’d bring it up in case it wasn’t.
I liked the atmosphere built in the third stanza by describing each individual turn of the traffic light colours. The phrase “the clock turned to midnight” also creates a sense of anticipation for the speaker’s reckless action in the end.
I thought this poem flowed pretty well when read aloud. The only bit where the flow seemed to be interrupted and where the line was a bit of a tongue twister was “goddamn it i need some peace”. I think the sounds of this line are just very different from the ones around it and also the impression I get from “goddamn it” is a lot more visceral than “i need some peace” which sounds fairly neutral to me.
I like the rhyming between light/night in the first line. The repetition of “i wanted” also works to emphasise and develop the speaker’s desire for a ‘break’ of some kind. I also like the assonance in e(x)i(sting)/ e(x)hau(sting). Even though it’s not exactly an uncommon phrase, somehow framing it in a poem like this lets me notice the sound patterns more, which is neat.
I interpret this poem as being a kind of dramatization of someone’s frustration. It doesn’t particularly strike me as a poem focused on form overall, though there are some good uses of sound devices. What does make it seem like a ‘lyric poem’ as noted in the genre is the focus on an emotion, rather than necessarily a literal sequence of events (like a narrative poem would) or a piece of rhetoric/ discourse.
Hope this helps – let me know if you’d like more feedback on something specific!