The Great Santa Barbara Oil Disaster Poem Analysis

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In “The Great Santa Barbara Oil Disaster, or: A Diary” by Conyus, he write of his interactions and thoughts that he has while cleaning the horrible and momentous oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara in 1969. In this, there is a stanza that he writes that appeals to the entirety of the poem, the one that begins on page three with “Day six” and ends with “again & again.”; this stanza uses tone and imagery which allow for the reader to grasp the fundamental core of this experience and how Conyus is trying to illustrate the effects of such a disaster on a human psyche. Day six of this poem is the day that starts with a dishonest sense of normalcy of an urban environment. Conyus introduces the idea of toads croaking in a setting combining two worlds, “asphalt rain pond”; this paints the picture of nature and man coinciding to try to live together harmoniously in an environment that …show more content…

Conyus uses repetition at the end of this stanza to demonstrate time, how he sat watching this horrific scene for a while as the waves came and went, taking in what he was seeing and trying to digest how this oil spill got to this point where a new morning brings a new nightmare. This line also lacks the presence of other humans in this scene; the fact that he does not comment that others are watching with him gives the idea that he alone is observing, and that he alone is going through this feeling of sadness and mourning as he watches the carcass float in the tide of regret. The imagery is infused with the idea of being forced to relive a mistake over and over again, like a recurring nightmare that does not seem to ever leave because it haunts one’s unconsciousness from the inside

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