Just As The Calendar Began To Say Summer Mary Oliver Analysis

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In the poem “Just as the Calendar Began to Say Summer”, Mary Oliver analogizes two distinct tones. The first tone of voice Oliver uses reflects her negative ideas about the regimented school system. At the beginning of the poem there is a strong sense of what the speaker is going through. Oliver states, “I went out of the school house fast and through the gardens and to the woods,” (ln 1-2). As if she was held there against her own will, she uses the word fast to signify that she was eager to leave. Gravitating towards a natural setting, she could appease her endless curiosity of what truly mattered to her. The garden is placed in between the schoolhouse and the forest to exemplify her transition between the controlled, man-made school and the unregimented forest. The forest provides a place of freedom of the mind, which often leads to curiosity. Broken up into short phrases, in stanza 2 Oliver creates a list of what she spent all summer trying to forget, “...how to be modest and useful, and how to succeed and so forth,…show more content…
Through another list, she offers her observant insight of what’s true success. Going into detail, “the way the wild wrens sang though they hadn’t a penny in the bank,” (ln 10). Using personification, she inserts the liveliness of the forest while acknowledging how the wrens were able be happy without money. The school system trains young adults to think the opposite, that you in fact need money to obtain happiness. Conversely to stanza 2, stanza 4 starts with repetition of the phrase “the way the” showing observation and insight of her surroundings, nevertheless time implying that the reader knows what she’s talking about because it was beyond words. Overall, in the contrasting tones it is clear what Oliver was more passionate about. If you do what you’re passionate about, if you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished, then that’s true
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