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A Fine Balance of Potential and Kinetic Energy Establishes Relationship

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Samantha A.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The descriptive language
  3. The use of passive verbs
  4. The energy of the poem
  5. Conclusion

In Dream Work, Mary Oliver's poetry delivers a balance of potential and kinetic energy. One poem in particular, ?Starfish,? demonstrates that establishing clear relationships within a poem lies in regulating both passive and active language. However, before establishing a relationship, the speaker and other personas of a poem must be characterized?there must be a development and understanding of each individual voice to comprehend the whole of the relationship. Through managing pronouns and employing concrete imagery, Mary Oliver heightens the tension of the underlying struggle of forging a relationship with nature and enjoying the daunting aspects of the world.

[...] A Fine Balance of Potential and Kinetic Energy Establishes Relationship In Dream Work, Mary Oliver's poetry delivers a balance of potential and kinetic energy. One poem in particular, ?Starfish,? demonstrates that establishing clear relationships within a poem lies in regulating both passive and active language. However, before establishing a relationship, the speaker and other personas of a poem must be characterized?there must be a development and understanding of each individual voice to comprehend the whole of the relationship. Through managing pronouns and employing concrete imagery, Mary Oliver heightens the tension of the underlying struggle of forging a relationship with nature and enjoying the daunting aspects of the world. [...]


[...] Just as the lines are divided, the willingness and the fear remain two separate issues; not only can the speaker not conjure the courage to play and form a relationship with the starfish, but also cannot muster the energy to feel an emotion as extreme as fear. In addition, her diction advances the energy of the poem's action while maintaining the speaker's apprehension of the starfish: ?While the sea poured its harsh song/ through the sluices/ while I waited for the gritty lightening/ of their touch . [...]

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