Alliteration In Crossing The Swamp

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A poem is often distinguished from other forms of writing as an “art of rhythmical composition ... for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts,” (Dictionary.com). Poets use a variety of literary devices to express their emotions and portray what they are perceiving. In the poem, “Crossing the Swamp”, Mary Oliver uses alliteration, tone, and imagery to manifest in the reader's mind the emotions she felt as she crossed the swamp. Alliteration within this poem is used to offer emphasis on perspectives that the swamp is being viewed through. Mary Oliver alliterated the words branching, burred, belching, bogs, peerless, pale, fooothold, fingerhold, hipholes, hummocks as wells as sink and silently within the first half of the poem. In the second half only one case of alliteration is evident and is expressed through the words glittered and grassy. It is clear in the alliterated words that the poet chose that there is emphasis on two opposite perspectives, a pessimistic perspective and an optimistic perspective. The first half of alliterated words are dark and dreary making it appear as if the swamp is a negative place. However, in the second half it shifts to become more optimistic and the words become lighter and softer creating a more positive view of where she is. When thinking of an optimistic…show more content…
There is an exact place within this poem you feel the shift towards Mary Oliver’s feelings about the swamp. At the beginning she is negative towards the swamp and it feels like she doesn’t want to be there. As the poem shifts it seems as if she finds the light and sees aspects that weren’t previously there making it a more inviting place. It is almost as if in the beginning it is nighttime and she might not entirely see the swamp. At the shift, the sun rises as she sees new aspects of the swamp she couldn’t see before due to the
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