Wild Swans Essay

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Bussey holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies and a bachelor's degree in English literature. She is an independent writer specializing in literature. In the following essay, Bussey evaluates the ways in which the speaker in Millay's poem projects her feelings and desires onto the swans.

In Millay's "Wild Swans," the speaker recalls being captivated by wild swans flying overhead. She admires them for their beauty, freedom, and sense of purpose, but the reason she has such an intense response to them is that she sees herself in them. Throughout most of the poem, she sees what she wants for herself in the swans, but at the end, she sees herself as she is in them. She projects both her ideal self and her actual self onto the wild birds. Because she sees her ideal self realized in the swans, the speaker finds hope in them. Having failed...

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This section contains 1,505 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wild Swans Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Wild Swans from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.