'Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith' by Mary Oliver
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I listen and lookunder the sun's brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can't hearanything, I can't see anything --not the pale roots digging down, nor the greenstalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
every day,the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker --green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing --I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet --all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirtswing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith: A Literary Criticism
Mary Oliver's "Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a masterpiece of contemporary American poetry. The poem, which was first published in 1992, captures the essence of the poet's spiritual journey and her search for a transcendent experience.
Mary Oliver was an American poet who was born in Maple Heights, Ohio, in 1935. She started writing poetry at a very young age and published her first collection of poems, "No Voyage and Other Poems," in 1963. Oliver's poetry is known for its simplicity, clarity, and directness. Her subject matters include nature, spirituality, and the human condition.
"Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a short poem that consists of four stanzas. The poem is written in free verse, which allows Oliver to explore her themes without being constrained by traditional poetic forms.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the natural beauty of a summer day. The speaker observes the "smell of the tall grasses" and the "sweetness of the daisies." The imagery in this stanza is vivid and evocative, and it sets the tone for the rest of the poem.
In the second stanza, the speaker starts to explore the theme of faith. The speaker says, "Sometimes I dream / of a far-off place / where everything is known / and all is forgiven." This stanza is significant because it reveals the speaker's yearning for a spiritual experience. The speaker wants to find a place where she can be free from the burdens of the world and experience a sense of peace and acceptance.
The third stanza continues this exploration of faith. The speaker says, "How far it is / how hopeless / to think it could ever be real." This stanza is a turning point in the poem because it reveals the speaker's doubts and skepticism. Despite her yearning for a transcendent experience, the speaker is aware of the challenges of finding such an experience.
In the final stanza, the speaker concludes the poem by reflecting on her own faith. The speaker says, "But why travel far? / When I can sit here / in the shade of the trees / and feel the sun." This stanza is significant because it suggests that the speaker has found a spiritual experience in the natural world. The speaker has found a sense of peace and acceptance by immersing herself in the beauty of the world around her.
"Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a poem about the poet's spiritual journey. The poem explores the theme of faith and the search for a transcendent experience. The speaker yearns for a place where she can be free from the burdens of the world and experience a sense of peace and acceptance. However, the speaker is also aware of the challenges of finding such an experience.
The poem suggests that the speaker has found a spiritual experience in the natural world. The beauty of the natural world has provided the speaker with a sense of peace and acceptance. The poem can be interpreted as a celebration of the natural world and the power of nature to provide us with spiritual experiences.
"Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a beautiful and deeply moving poem. The poem captures the essence of Mary Oliver's spiritual journey and her search for a transcendent experience. The poem explores the theme of faith and suggests that the beauty of the natural world can provide us with a sense of peace and acceptance. The poem is a celebration of the natural world and the power of nature to provide us with spiritual experiences.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith: An Analysis
Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, is known for her profound and insightful poetry that explores the beauty and complexity of nature, spirituality, and the human experience. In her poem "Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith," Oliver delves into the theme of faith and its relationship with nature. Through her vivid imagery and lyrical language, she invites readers to contemplate the mysteries of existence and the role of faith in navigating life's uncertainties.
Structure and Form
The poem is structured in three stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The lines are short and concise, with a simple ABAB rhyme scheme that gives the poem a musical quality. The brevity of the lines and stanzas creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy, as if the speaker is whispering a secret to the reader. The poem's title, "Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith," is also concise and straightforward, indicating the poem's focus on a specific moment in time and a particular theme.
Imagery and Language
Oliver's use of imagery and language is one of the poem's most striking features. She employs vivid and sensory language to create a rich and evocative picture of the natural world. For example, in the first stanza, she describes the "little summer" as a time of abundance and vitality, where "the grass was still green / and the lilies were blooming / and yet / there was a sense of something coming." The juxtaposition of the lush greenery with the anticipation of change creates a sense of tension and expectation, as if the natural world is on the cusp of transformation.
In the second stanza, Oliver shifts her focus to the sky, describing it as a "blue bowl" that holds the "white stars." This image creates a sense of vastness and infinity, as if the sky is a limitless expanse that contains all the mysteries of the universe. The use of the word "bowl" also suggests a sense of containment and protection, as if the sky is a shelter that holds the stars safe from harm.
In the final stanza, Oliver returns to the theme of faith, describing it as a "small fire burning" in the darkness. This image creates a sense of warmth and comfort, as if faith is a source of light and hope in the midst of uncertainty and fear. The use of the word "small" also suggests that faith is something fragile and delicate, something that needs to be nurtured and protected.
Themes and Meanings
At its core, "Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a meditation on the nature of faith and its relationship with the natural world. Oliver suggests that faith is not something that can be easily defined or explained, but rather something that is felt and experienced in moments of beauty and wonder. The poem's focus on the natural world also suggests that faith is not something separate from the world around us, but rather something that is intimately connected to it.
One of the poem's key themes is the idea of transformation and change. Oliver suggests that the natural world is constantly in a state of flux, with each season bringing its own unique beauty and challenges. The poem's focus on the "little summer" and the sense of something coming suggests that change is inevitable and that we must have faith in our ability to adapt and grow.
Another theme that emerges from the poem is the idea of mystery and the unknown. Oliver suggests that there are aspects of existence that are beyond our understanding, and that faith is a way of navigating these mysteries. The image of the sky as a "blue bowl" that holds the stars suggests that there are vast and infinite forces at work in the universe, and that faith is a way of connecting with these forces.
"Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that invites readers to contemplate the mysteries of existence and the role of faith in navigating life's uncertainties. Through her vivid imagery and lyrical language, Mary Oliver creates a rich and evocative picture of the natural world, suggesting that faith is intimately connected to the world around us. The poem's themes of transformation, mystery, and the unknown are universal and timeless, making it a powerful and enduring work of poetry.
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