Topics: Owls, Horned owl, Eurasian Eagle-owl Pages: 1 (405 words) Published: November 8, 2011
Nature captivates any human by its sheer beauty, however others may not see its beauty, rather its unnerving side. In "Owls," Mary Oliver conveys the complexity of her response to nature through the use of imagery, juxtaposition, and highly complex syntax. She is torn between her fear and her admiration and awe for the beauty of it. Imagery creates the very distinct contrast between terrifying and beautiful parts of nature. Oliver begins her piece by describing the great horned owl in all its majesty and terror. She can hear the "heavy, crisp, breathy snapping of its hooked beak;" she stumbles upon the "headless bodies of rabbits and blue jays" knowing that the owl killed them because it has "an insatiable craving for the taste of brains." She says, "If it could, it would eat the whole world." And yet, she is as attracted by the night killer as she is repelled by it. She sees herself and the owl as "standing at the edge of the mystery" and says that "the world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live too." Mary Oliver's use of threatening imagery conveys her deep fear of the power of this frightful creature. Oliver uses juxtaposition to convey her complex feelings on nature. Nature is so complex that even very similar animals have very differing aspects. Oliver can “imagine the screech owl on her wrist” and she can learn from the snowy owl, but the great horned owl will cause her to “fall” if it “should touch her.” Even though this great horned owl is terrifying, Oliver still is in amazement of it. She says it would become the “center of her life.” From the vivid description of the bloodthirsty owl, Oliver jumps to, of all things, flowers. Poppies or lupines, and roses. They are "red and pink and white tents of softness." This sudden change, this juxtaposition, emphasizes again her complex response to nature. One minute she sees death on the wing, and then flowers enrapture her. But soon the flowers take on a kind...
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