The Summer Day By Mary Oliver Essay

708 Words 3 Pages
So I finally settled on the poem “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. The overall theme of the poem has the meaning of nature and finding one’s self. I found this poem to be enticing because the whole idea of figuring out who you are is the epitome of life and a crucial part of everyone’s lives. Oliver begins the poem with three rhetorical questions. These questions increase in specific detail order. The first question surprises the reader because the answer is obvious. This introduces another theme which is questioning authority. The second is a comparison with polar opposites in color and symbolic elements. The third question is about the outlook of the grasshopper. That is shown in lines 4-10. The grasshopper is used as a metaphor. It symbolize that people on society need to pay more attention to nature and not take the small things in life for granted. Then the tone shifts after line 10, Oliver changes her subject. “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is,” she says. At that moment she opposes herself by saying “I do not know how to pay attention, how to fall/ into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, / how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through fields, / which is what I have been doing all day” (12-15). When comparing the two Oliver is saying that praying is abstract and impractical while nature is real and concrete. Prayers are said and then they float into thin air while nature is all around. Meaning it can and should be appreciated like everything else in…

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