Mary Oliver's Use Of Figurative Language In Crossing The Swamp

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In “Crossing the Swamp” by Mary Oliver, the poet uses various forms of figurative language to develop the similar relationship between the speaker and the swamp. The poet portrays this relationship through the use of visual imagery, alliteration, personification and metaphor. The visual imagery provides a clear image of the swamp and the speaker, meanwhile the alliteration is used to further compare how the swamp is related to the speaker. Personification is used to portray the swamp with human qualities; something that seems real to the readers. Finally, a metaphor is used to associate the speaker’s life and the passage through the swamp.

Mary Oliver loads her poem with visual imagery to the point where the readers feel like they are actually there. The imagery is what makes the readers know how the speaker is feeling. “My bones knock together at the pale joints…” explains how the speaker has challenges walking through the swap. Another example of visual imagery would in this poem would be “trying for every foothold, finger hold” which creates the image of nothing to grab on to. This is a couple of examples of how the poet uses visual imagery.
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A metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics. An example of the metaphor she uses would be “hummocks that sink silently into the, slack earth soup” meaning that there is quick sand that drags you down into the nasty muck in the swamp In conclusion Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp” is an excellent poem to read. It give several examples of visual imagery, metaphors. The way it is organized there is not multiple stanzas, but the poem is one solid
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