New and Selected Poems | Critical Essay by Vicki Graham

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
This section contains 5,833 words
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SOURCE: "'Into the Body of Another': Mary Oliver and the Poetics of Becoming Other," in Papers on Language and Literature, Vol. 30, No. 4, Fall, 1994, pp. 352-72.

In the following essay, Graham discusses Oliver's (and by extension, her readers') ability to "become" the various natural bodies she writes about.

We belong to the moon, says Mary Oliver, and "the most / thoughtful among us dreams / of hurrying down … into the body of another." We dream, we long, and some of us believe that we can step outside of ourselves and enter the body of another. But Western culture discourages these yearnings and demands individualism and the formation of strong ego boundaries and stable identities. Unlike the traveller of Leslie Marmon Silko's "Story from Bear Country," we do not hear the bear's call; we do not see our "footprints / in the sand" become bear prints, nor do we...

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This section contains 5,833 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Vicki Graham
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Critical Essay by Vicki Graham from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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