“Wild Geese” – Mary Oliver
While doing some research on the poet, Mary Oliver, I found out some interesting things that can relate to this poem. First off, it seems that Mary Oliver writes a lot about nature and is very in touch with her nature side. This has been one of her known trademarks in writing. Additionally, the deep and inspirational meaning that this poem has also relates to the fact that she likes to “let her work speak for itself” (Beacon Press). An interesting thought occurred to me while reading about this author and relating her background to this certain poem she has written, is that the meaning of this poem, as I mentioned above in Assignment 1 about not living life in regret and despair, may have to do something about how she lives and chose to live her lifestyle. She has a female partner, whom she shares a house with and they have been by each other’s sides for 40 years now. When writing this poem, she may have been speaking to others about what she did herself, how she didn’t let how she wanted to live affect her life, and she did what she felt was right for herself anyway, despite the difference and hate she may have gotten or got from others. Bringing in the nature side, she compared it to wild geese towards the end of her poem. This poem was written in the mid 80’s (1986) when there was a “general shift in societal values, from the emphasis on social justice that characterized the 1960s and 1970s, towards a concentration on individuality and material gain.” Also, “for many Americans, this turn translated into less tolerance for individuals and groups that did not fit the prescribed right-wing model, including various racial and ethnic groups, feminists, and gays and lesbians.” (Book Rags) This change could be what inspired this poet, Mary Oliver, to write this particular piece.
“The Tyger” – William Blake
While researching William Blake, I found that he has a very interesting back story to his life and while reading it, the meaning of his poem started to make more sense. While reading into his early life, I have discovered that “The Bible had an early, profound influence on Blake, and it would remain a lifetime source of inspiration, coloring his life and works with intense spirituality.” (Biography.com) This piece of his life would explain the purpose of writing this certain poem, asking who creates and who created this “Tyger” and if that creator also made the lamb. This poem was written in the time of 1794. Looking at the timeline of his life, it seems that his brother died in 1787, a few years back before the creation of this poem, and he seemed to be “closest to his youngest brother, Robert, who died while yet young.” (Poetry Foundation) It is said that his brother came to him in a dream after his passing, and introduced “a new method of printing