Analysis of Lillies by Mary Oliver

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Allusion
The poem, “Lilies” which was written by Mary Oliver in 1935 was one which I found to be rather compelling. In this poem, Ms. Oliver strategically uses the metaphor of a lily while also describing the longing need to live a carefree, desolate but yet fulfilling life. When first observing this poem, one might swiftly conclude that Oliver is referring to living this simple life without the stress or confusion of an ordinary human lifestyle. Although this indeed may be true, Oliver’s continuous allusion to the lilies may imply another interpretation. Throughout the poem, Oliver describes her longing want to live just as the lilies “that blow in the fields (Oliver 4)”. Although this may appear to be a simplistic way of conveying her desire to live a carefree life, the quote of living like the lilies in the field is actually an allusion to a verse in the bible. The entire poem, in all actuality, is a constant reference to the verse Matthew 6:28. This verse states, “Why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.” After researching and reading various lines from this verse, one may conclude a different meaning of the poem. Oliver perpetually talks about not having a care in the world being without food or shelter in contrast to that of a human being. She also describes her desire to be without domestic necessities, longing to be without limbs but rather a part of something like a pasture. As stated further through the text of Matthew, Oliver not only longs for a simple and concluded life. She may also be implying the desire to live without worry or fear for the daily necessities of everyday life. If she could be as the lily of the fields, then she would have no responsibilities or worries. She could, in fact, live like that almost of an innocent child. She would not be concerned with rather she might eat or have shelter. Life would simply be just like a breeze which blows effortlessly...
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