'Flare' by Mary Oliver
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1.Welcome to the silly, comforting poem.It is not the sunrise,
which is a red rinse,
which is flaring all over the eastern sky;it is not the rain falling out of the purse of God;it is not the blue helmet of the sky afterward,or the trees, or the beetle burrowing into the earth;it is not the mockingbird who, in his own cadence,
will go on sizzling and clapping
from the branches of the catalpa that are thick with blossoms,that are billowing and shining,that are shaking in the wind.2.You still recall, sometimes, the old barn on yourgreat-grandfather's farm, a place you visited once,and went into, all alone, while the grownups sat andtalked in the house.It was empty, or almost. Wisps of hay covered the floor,and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there wasa strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-inga little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild,binocular eyes.Mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience ofanimals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air,a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.Mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof highup and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.You could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner,on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemedempty, but wasn't.Then--you still remember--you felt the rap of hunger--it wasnoon--and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried backto the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted youon the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.3.Nothing lasts.
There is a graveyard where everything I am talking about is,
now.I stood there once, on the green grass, scattering flowers.4.Nothing is so delicate or so finely hinged as the wings
of the green moth
against the lantern
against its heat
against the beak of the crow
in the early morning.Yet the moth has trim, and feistiness, and not a dropof self-pity.Not in this world.5.My mother
was the blue wisteria,
was the mossy stream out behind the house,
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, Flare: A Celebration of the Art of Living
Are you looking for a poem that will inspire you to live your life fully, to embrace each moment with gratitude and joy? Look no further than "Flare" by Mary Oliver, a celebration of the art of living that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired. In this 48-line poem, Oliver reminds us that life is both precious and fleeting, and that our time on earth should be spent in pursuit of beauty, wonder, and love.
The Power of Metaphor and Imagery
From the opening lines, it is clear that Oliver is a master of metaphor and imagery, using language to paint vivid pictures in the reader's mind. She begins with a description of a "small flare" that she sees in the distance, a burst of light that illuminates the sky and captures her attention. This flare becomes a metaphor for the fleeting moments of beauty and wonder that we encounter in our lives, moments that are often too brief and too easily missed.
Oliver goes on to describe the "secret" of this flare, which is that it is not only a burst of light, but also a source of warmth and energy. She writes:
"Whatever it touches, it melts at once
and leaves a new skin around it."
The metaphor here is powerful: the flare is not just a moment of beauty, but also a transformative force that changes everything it touches. It is a reminder that even the smallest moments of joy and wonder can have a profound impact on our lives, if we allow them to.
Oliver continues to use imagery to explore the theme of transformation, describing the flare as a "miracle" that "splits the darkness" and reveals the hidden beauty of the world around us. She writes:
"the world wakes up
The metaphor here is one of awakening, of being jolted out of our complacency and forced to see the world in a new light. The world, which was once shrouded in darkness, is now suddenly aflame with beauty and wonder.
The Importance of Gratitude and Wonder
Throughout the poem, Oliver emphasizes the importance of gratitude and wonder in our lives. She writes:
"What I'm saying is
don't lose heart.
Whatever your difficulties,
whatever your griefs,
the world is still filled with its life."
Here, Oliver is reminding us that even in our darkest moments, there is still beauty and wonder to be found in the world. We must remain open to it, and grateful for it, even when it seems as though everything is falling apart.
Oliver also emphasizes the importance of wonder in our lives, writing:
flamingoes, or well,
(they are ever so striped),
or the heartbreaking
beauty of impalas
"look at me! look at me!""
The imagery here is delightful: Oliver is reminding us that we need to take the time to seek out the beauty and wonder in the world around us, to be like the impalas and say "look at me!" We must not be afraid to embrace our own beauty and wonder, and to share it with others.
The Power of Poetry
Finally, Oliver concludes the poem with a powerful statement about the power of poetry:
may happen like a miracle, or
in the dimming of the mind
and yet still waters
the power of going under."
Here, she is reminding us that poetry has the power to transform us, to awaken us to the beauty and wonder of the world around us. It can happen suddenly, like a miracle, or it can be a slow and gradual process. But regardless of how it happens, the power of poetry is real, and it can help us to navigate the challenges and difficulties of life.
"Flare" is a beautiful and inspiring poem that celebrates the art of living. Through her use of metaphor and imagery, Oliver reminds us that even the smallest moments of beauty and wonder can have a profound impact on our lives, if we allow them to. She emphasizes the importance of gratitude and wonder, and encourages us to seek out the beauty in the world around us. And she reminds us that poetry has the power to transform us, to awaken us to the beauty and wonder of the world.
So if you are feeling lost or discouraged, if you are struggling to find meaning and purpose in your life, read "Flare" by Mary Oliver. Let her words inspire you to live your life fully, to embrace each moment with gratitude and wonder, and to see the world in a new and beautiful light.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Flare: A Celebration of Life and Nature
Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, is known for her profound and insightful observations of the natural world. Her poem, Poetry Flare, is a celebration of the power of poetry and its ability to ignite the imagination and connect us to the beauty and wonder of the world around us.
The poem begins with a simple and direct statement: "Oh, the joy of poetry!" This exclamation sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is filled with a sense of wonder and delight. Oliver goes on to describe the experience of reading a poem as a "flare" that illuminates the world and reveals its hidden beauty.
The first stanza of the poem is a celebration of the power of language to evoke images and emotions. Oliver writes, "It opens all the doors, / it brings us to the table / of the world already." Here, she is suggesting that poetry has the power to transport us to new places and to help us see the world in a new light. The use of the word "table" is particularly interesting, as it suggests that poetry is a feast for the senses, a banquet of words that nourishes the soul.
In the second stanza, Oliver turns her attention to the natural world, which is a recurring theme in her poetry. She writes, "Expect nothing. / Live frugally / on surprise." This is a call to embrace the unexpected and to find joy in the small moments of life. Oliver suggests that the natural world is full of surprises and that we should be open to them, rather than trying to control or predict them.
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful. Oliver writes, "Become a stranger / to caution." Here, she is urging us to let go of our fears and inhibitions and to embrace the unknown. She suggests that caution can be a barrier to experiencing the fullness of life and that we should be willing to take risks and explore new territory.
The final stanza of the poem is a celebration of the power of poetry to connect us to the world and to each other. Oliver writes, "Go up / into the gaps. / If you can find them; / they shift and vanish too." Here, she is suggesting that poetry can help us bridge the gaps between ourselves and others, and between ourselves and the natural world. The use of the word "gaps" is interesting, as it suggests that there are spaces between us that can be filled with poetry and with the connections that it creates.
Overall, Poetry Flare is a celebration of life and nature, and of the power of poetry to connect us to both. Oliver's use of language is simple and direct, yet it is also profound and evocative. She invites us to embrace the unexpected, to let go of our fears, and to explore the world with a sense of wonder and delight. In doing so, she reminds us of the beauty and mystery that surrounds us, and of the power of poetry to help us see it.
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