“The Journey” We All Encounter
By Mary Oliver
Life is An ongoing Journey that all people must undergo. Mary Oliver causes the reader to fully experience the lifelong struggle of finding her/himself. Ultimately the common goal in this poem, and in our lives, is to show one’s need to find his/herself through the countless obstacles in our way.
The idea that this poem is ongoing and lacking stanza breaks can implicitly illustrate the notion that life itself is ongoing without “breaks”. The view that through good and bad (obstacles), we all must go on is represented in lines 10-12,
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
Oliver is explaining to the reader that although we will discover many hardships in life, we must move on and continue our personal journey as seen in line 12, “But you didn’t stop”.
The lack of stanza breaks also causes the reader to move more quickly through the poem. He/she is “pulled” through the poetry because many of the sentences are short and contain only three to four words. Another cause of “pulling” through the work is that many sentences are cut off and continued on the next line. Oliver is doing this to ge
Another example of people being obstacles is in lines 14-16,though the wind priedwith it"tms stiff fingersat the very foundations-. It is always the first word in a line and followed by a hardship one must endure to reach the final destination. The main repetition is with the words "determined", "do", and "save". By showing the visual "ups and downs" of "the Journey", Oliver is demonstrating that she recognizes that the journey is strenuous and difficult. People, or obstacles, constantly come in the way of people trying to find and help themselves, but eventually a person realizes they can"tmt save anyone in life other than himherself. Oliver mentions that the only person someone can save is himherself. A "self quest" is exactly what Oliver has created in this work. Our lives go by faster than we expect. The hardships that come with life"tms journey are also illustrated with Oliver"tms word choices. When put together, these last four lines of the poem are the most substantial. The feeling previously mentioned of being "rushed" through the poem can be compared to the quickness of life. An obvious example of this poem"tms "shape" is in lines 17-19,though their melancholywas terrible. Throughout "The Journey", the word "though" is used four times.