Crossing The Swamp Analysis

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In “Crossing the Swamp”, Mary Oliver depicts the process of the speaker crossing the swamp. The speaker makes many observations about the swamp and the descriptions of it correlates with her view towards swamp. At first the speaker only sees the swamp as dark and dense, but later realizes the hidden details of the swamp that was not visible before. After crossing the swamp, the speaker is able to see the swamp as part of beautiful nature. In the poem, the speaker first addresses the swamp by repeating “here is”. This repetition that emphasize the existence of the swamp suggests that the speaker and the swamp has a direct and strong relationship. The relationship between the speaker and the swamp is further emphasized when the speaker describes the swamp as “the center of everything”. The speaker is almost worshipping the swamp as a immovable and powerful being. However, at the same time, the speaker observes that the swamp is “dark”, “seamless” and “pathless”. These words evoke a sense of fear and …show more content…

The speaker, instead of describing the swamp as dark and seamless, describes the swamp as “glittered” and “rich”. The abundance of life juxtaposes the previous image of scarcity in the swamp. At this point, the speaker is absent and the poem only focuses on the image of the swamp. This absence suggests that the speaker became part of the beautiful swamp. The vivid imagery of “fat grassy mires” and “succulent marrows” give the swamp a life-giving quality. Because of this quality of the swamp to give life to its surrounding, the swamp becomes a figure that protects and supports life. The power of the swamp to give hope and chance to others is further indicated when a dry stick receives “one more chance by the whims of the swamp water” to grow and sprout. At the end, the image of the dry stick growing to be a tree with “breathing palace of leaves” concludes the

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