Within the poem "Dark Pines under Water," Gwendolyn MacEwen describes an internal journey, in the mind of the reader, through a mysterious dream. This whole dream is shrouded by thought-provoking ideas that clouds the mind on what the final destination is or what the reader's soul wants it to be, for it is never defined. In reality, mentioning the internality would steal its potency. Of course, this happens only because MacEwen approaches the idea indirectly. This is done by means of connotations and imagery inherent within the landscape; therefore, utilizing these concepts to create an alien, but common internality. Because of this, MacEwen leads the reader to a multi-dimensional conclusion without objectively overstating it. An end result becomes a journey that encourages the reader to take part with the poem.
MacEwen writes the poem in the second person, without the connection of a persona. Due to this, she continues to refer back to "you," compelling the implantation of the reader into the writing. It is almost as if there is a sense of influence or manipulation by MacEwen such as how she guides the reader, with the "you," along a path she chooses. Within the first and second stanza, the "you" is utilized. .
"This land like a mirror turns you inward".
"And you become a forest in a furtive lake" (MacEwen 1-2).
Through a simile, an outside land is used to reflect an idea of the reader, which takes the form of metaphoric forest; however, she changes this image by saying this forest is submersed "in a furtive lake," making what the reader imagine become suddenly unfamiliar. This concept is all done by the pre-modifier "furtive" by its meaning of secrecy. .
MacEwen continues on imposing expectations trying to make internal unease, within the reader, in every stanza. It is as if MacEwen wants to make the readers to doubt themselves on what they are looking for, thus creating a dark theme.