As Corey Marks discusses more fully in his chapter “The Descriptive-Meditative Structure” in Structure & Surprise: Engaging Poetic Turns, the descriptive-meditative structure is a kind of dramatic monologue that has three parts: it opens with the description of a scene, then (often due to an external trigger) turns to an interior meditation (for example, the expression and/or consideration of memories, concerns, anticipation), and then turns to a re-description of the scene, a scene that now seems different due to the changed mindset of the poem’s speaker. Here is a good summary of the essential features of this structure. Below are supplemental poems and discussion.
And some further excellent uses of this structure:
“Now,” by Landon Godfrey, in Second-Skin Rhinestone-Spangled Nude Souffle Chiffon Gown (Halifax, PA: Cider Press Review, 2011): 17.
“Sunflowers, Wyoming,” by Deborah Slicer, in The White Calf Kicks (Pittsburgh, PA: Autumn House Press, 2003): 17.
Davis’s poem does not itself employ the descriptive-meditative structure, but it does reference it significantly. Knowing about the structure (and that Davis uses the structure so fully and convincingly in an earlier poem, “Resolutions in a Parked Car,” reprinted in Structure & Surprise), allows one to better feel the irresolution of Davis’s more-recent poem–the forlorn quality of “The Lyric ‘I’…” is more fully felt when experienced in contrast to a structure like the descriptive-meditative which so often involves moving toward some kind of resolution.
New thinking about the continuing relevance of the descriptive-meditative lyric can be found here.
As Corey Marks notes in “The Descriptive-Meditative Structure,” this structure was first identified by M. H. Abrams in his essay “Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric.” A great act of literary criticism, Abrams’s essay is well worth reading in full. This essay can be found in Harold Bloom’s Romanticism and Consciousness.