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Toward The Space Age Analysis



Author: Poetry of Mary Oliver Type: Poetry Views: 108

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We must begin to catch hold of everything

around us, for nobody knows what we

may need. We have to carry along

the air, even; and the weight we once

thought a burden turns out to form

the pulse of our life and the compass for our brain.

Colors balance our fears, and existence

begins to clog unless our thoughts

can occur unwatched and let a fountain of essential silliness

out through our dreams.And oh I hope we can still arrange

for the wind to blow, and occasionally

some kind of shock to occur, like rain,

and stray adventures no one cares about --

harmless love, immoderate guffaws on corners,

families crawling around the front room growling,

being bears in the piano cave.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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The significance of this poem for a modern reader is in the title. The poem itself reads in the same ribbony, philosophical air as many others, but it is “toward the space age” which gears it toward the present dilemma. Her opening lines reiterate a sense of “now” instilled in all her work:
“we must begin to catch hold of everything
around us, for nobody knows what we
may need.”
These words affect the reader because he or she knows Oliver is speaking to them. All the insecurities of living in a morphing society while launching into a “space age” of new developments are enveloped in her words. With “for nobody knows what we may need”, a sense of the unknown is translated into clear expression. The stanza communicates an outline of meaning; her words serve as a road map to the sense of confusion experienced by many in our present world. The reader is left to decipher the meaning of the poem as it connects to them. Her sketch of life is a palette upon which greater meaning can be found, and she spurs the reader to find it with her modern sensibility. Oliver fashions us into Urban Scouts, foraging into the depths of our modern lives and extracting the necessities of survival. She continues, further in the poem:
“Colors balance our fears, and existence
begins to clog unless our thoughts
can occur unwatched and let a fountain of essential silliness
out through our dreams.”
A glowing Oliver is exposed here, as she brings us back from our philosophical escapades to the real cut and dry. As much as we can stray from ourselves in the upsweeping of society, “essential silliness out from our dreams” is the truly important notion to keep existence smooth.


| Posted on 2006-03-16 | by Approved Guest




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