Imagery in Singapore

Topics: Toilet, Flush toilet, Toilets in Japan Pages: 2 (889 words) Published: February 24, 2008
Image is everything
In the poem, Oliver shows that image is everything in her work. In Singapore by Mary Oliver, imagery plays a very important role. She writes a poem about a poor woman she saw in an airport in Singapore washing an ashtray in the toilet, and comparing a woman to a beautiful scene in nature. She writes a poem about this woman making her a symbol to the serene image of nature. She is also decreasing her disturbed perception of the woman to nature in the poem. She also uses a very interruptive style of writing by jumping from what she is physically seeing, to what her mind is creating and thinking. Thus, the poem reveals the work of imagination, real life comparison, and nature symbolism in woman's work at the airport. Singapore is a poem about how a cleaning woman in an airport can be compared to nature. She is disturbed by this woman at first, "Disgust argued in my stomach and I felt, in my pocket, for my ticket"(7). She doesn't feel happy about what she is seeing. Actually she does what most of us do, she judges the woman first by her appearance, which was not a pleasant one. For example, referring to when she was feeling her pocket for her ticket. The way the word "felt" is separated from the rest of the phrase, could mean that she was going to say something about how she felt for the woman, but could not put into words(7). According to Douglas, "Nature does not need people in order to be nature" (Burton-Christie 81). She shows the reader that nature is an imaginary, where you can see happy thing of life. In a poem you are supposedly in a happy place and she wants to put that woman there, "a person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem"(13). Mary puts herself in a happy place by writing the poem, and in her mind, the cleaning woman in her poem is in a happy place also. The structure of Mary Oliver's poem can also be compared to real life. "It has a very interruptive style that disrupts poetic convention and notions of...
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