Robert Currie's "The Diver", on the surface, recounts a diver's descent and ascent into a river as onlookers eagerly anticipate his fate. Beneath the surface, this poem is actually very spiritual. The diver's descent into the water, and his arising from the water, can be compared to the crucifixion of Jesus. Through the masterful use of imagery and Biblical comparisons, Currie depicts the message that rebirth and hope can captivate and revitalize our spirits. An essential key to the theme of "The Diver" is through the subtle yet prevailing use of Biblical references. From the very beginning of Currie's poem, a simile is used when describing the "bridge like a Roman fort". This helps to set the tone that something important is about to happen and also provides a Biblical base to the structure of the poem. Lines four to six describe the man's journey up towards the bridge. This journey can be compared to Jesus' struggle towards the top of the hill where he was crucified. Perhaps this man was also carrying a "load on his shoulders", so to speak. The poem becomes even more Biblical as "others bet upon his chance", much like Jesus' own fate. As the diver prepares for the inevitable, his situation has Biblical meaning. "At the summit of the span he rose/ his arms outstretched/ flung a cross against the sun"', are perhaps three of the most powerful lines in the poem. These lines are followed by much anticipation from the crowd below. The dive symbolizes the end of something, which is also supported when "The river circling away/ grew silent as held breath/ still as death". These lines make is seem as though everything, and everyone, even the river, are "holding their breath" in anticipation of the outcome of the dive. Then, starting at line twenty-one, the rebirth begins, as, "from unknown depths/ his head broke the water/ shook out a crown of sunlit spray. There is a strong Biblical presence in the comparisons used in this poem, which help to support...
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