Mary Oliver Crossing The Swamp

Words: 551
Pages: 3

“Crossing the Swamp,” written by poet Mary Oliver, depicts life’s hardships through the usage of symbolism, metaphors, and imagery. Oliver expresses the struggles of life through the journey of crossing a swamp. The swamp symbolizes life, and the many components that go along with it. Through selective word choice and literary devices, Oliver is able to make a strong connection with the reader. The usage of consonance helps us understand the swamp is not only a physical obstacle, but a mental obstacle too. The swamp becomes challenging to cross at points, but Oliver is able to give all of her physical and mental strength to get across it. “Crossing the Swamp” helps illustrate the difficulties and triumphs throughout life, and the long strenuous, …show more content…
Consonance helps the reader develop a better insight of the swamp. The swamp is not only a physical barrier, but a mental barrier too. “Foothold, fingerhold, and mindhold...” (Lines 16-17). The swamp, just like life, is not only a physical game, but a mental game as well. The usage of consonance helps the reader better understand the different ranges of problems associated with life. Finally, the whole poem is an extended metaphor. The poem is comparing two things that aren’t normally associated: life, and the swamp. Oliver is comparing the two objects in this way to help better relate the struggles together. This gives the reader a deeper meaning, and helps them relate better.
Throughout “Crossing the Swamp,” Mary Oliver uses many unique techniques to develop a long lasting relationship between the reader and the swamp. She uses a wide variety of literary devices and figurative language to help develop the relationship. This writing style allows the reader to gain a better understanding of the complications and fortunes involved throughout the swamp. This creates a seamless, or pathless correlation to the reader’s