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Saturday, April 27, 2013

2004B Poem “Crossing the Swamp” (Mary Oliver)


Prompt: Read the following poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the techniques the poet uses to develop the relationship between the speaker and the swamp.


I feel like I only struggle with the intro paragraph in AP tests. So I feel like I just need to practice the intro on each essay prompt to be confident in my essay writing skills for the AP test.


Here is the endless
wet thick
cosmos, the center
of everything—the nugget
of dense sap, branching
vines, the dark burred
faintly belching
bogs. Here
is swamp, here
is struggle,
closure—
pathless, seamless,
peerless mud. My bones
knock together at the pale
joints, trying
for foothold, fingerhold,
mindhold over
such slick crossings, deep
hipholes, hummocks
that sink silently
into the black, slack
earthsoup. I feel
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich
and succulent marrows
of earth— a poor
dry stick given
one more chance by the whims
of swamp water— a bough
that still, after all these years,
could take root,
sprout, branch out, bud—
make of its life a breathing
palace of leaves.

In the poem "Crossing the Swamp" by Mary Oliver, the author is telling his story of crossing a swamp, which also relates to his life struggles. Through the use of Imagery in almost every line, figurative language, and his sophisticated diction which uses many strong adjectives, the author shows that he is really dealing with some harsh times in his own life which he compares to the swamp. The author uses the swamp as a symbol of hardship. He needs to cross this endless swamp, and get through this hard time in life. He is stating that he needs to give it everything he has to make this endless crossing attainable. The swamp and his life both need dedication to achieve. The end states the progress made after the hardship and his success. 

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