Literary Analysis Of Mary Oliver's 'Flare'

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Mary Oliver, born in 1935, is most well known for her descriptions of the natural world and how that world of simplicity relates to the complexity of humanity. Her poem, “Flare”, is no different, as it illustrates the relationship between human emotions; such as the feeling of nostalgia, and the natural world. “Flare” is featured in her book published in 2000, The Leaf and The Cloud: A Poem. At the time of writing the book, Oliver was 65 years old, living with her partner Molly Cook in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Oliver is said to have based most of her poetry on her experience living in Provincetown and has found inspiration from walks by the water near her house. The poem stays true to Oliver’s general writing style of relating to the natural world and, based on the sentimental and peaceful images throughout the poem, is clear to have been influenced by the stream of consciousness she had when writing the poem. Mary Oliver is clearly the speaker in the poem and often uses second person to directly address the reader, thus drawing the reader in and causing he or she to feel personally connected to both the poem and the poet. This poem is structured into twelve sections, each with different diction, imagery, syntax and tone. The combination of these twelve messages create a final takeaway for the reader; that although the presence of the past is important to acknowledge, the only way to move on from the negativity in your past, is to connect to the natural world and find

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