Mary Olive 'Spring' Analysis

Topics: Human, Natural environment, Science Pages: 3 (748 words) Published: November 3, 2010
Spring reflects a deep communion with the natural world, offering a fresh viewpoint of the commonplace or ordinary things in our world by subverting our expected and accepted views of that object which in turn presents a view that operates from new assumptions. Oliver depicts the natural world as a celebration of wonder and awe, the almost insignificant wonders capturing the true beauty nature beholds.

Spring is a poem that visibly illustrates this, representing the natural world to be full of wonder through imagery and metaphors without actually stating what the wonders are. The poem Spring observes a bear that has risen from hibernation due to the awakening of another season, spring. It’s “four black fists… flicking the gravel… her tongue… like a red fire”, implies that the actions of the bear are neither dramatic nor extraordinary, yet manage to be miraculous and powerful.

The bear is a creature of immense beauty, power, and majesty and creates an aesthetic appreciation of nature in terms of kinetic pleasures. Oliver does not use elaborate language or complex metaphors, instead she purely observes the common bear and describes its actions in such a way that its simplicity and silence brings wholeness and marvel to the reader, putting the reader in a state of awe and reconciliation of the natural world. Her typography is also important, as it provides a sense of movement before Oliver makes it clear that he is in fact moving down a mountain.

Through the media, folklore, and cartoons bears are represented as harmless and cute, yet Oliver uses the bear as a symbol of nature in that we should embrace and appreciate its simplicity and silence, its wild and powerful forces. The poem defines the line between the human world and the non-human world, alluding to the “glass cities” of the human world and the materialism that is contained within in. It then contrasts this acquisitive world to the gentleness and rawness of the natural world, as if it is still in...
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