Analysis Of Mary Oliver 's ' The Value Of Imitation

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Artem Danilov Poetry Handbook Summer Assignment Journal 1 In this poem Mary Oliver wanted to send a message to her readers about how important imitation is in the process of learning how to write a good-quality work. “You would learn very little in this world if you were not allowed to imitate. And to repeat your imitations until some solid grounding in the skill was achieved and the slight but wonderful difference – that made you you and no one else - could assert itself. Every child is encouraged to imitate. But in the world of writing it is originality that is sought out, while imitation is the sins of sins” ( Oliver 13). Through the poem Mary Oliver writes about the value of imitation as a skill that is necessary, but she also calls it “the sin of the sins”, therefore makes it a necessary sin in the field of writing. Oliver encouraged children to imitate. It would sound controversial nowadays since plagiarism is seen as one of the most unlawful things a student is able to do, but by imitation Oliver meant learning from others, not stealing from them. She explicitly states that it is wrong to imitate, but if a person will do that over a long period of time, then this person will eventually develop his own original ideas. Oliver argues that originality will derive from the constant repeat of imitation from others. I find it very eye-opening and helps appreciate poetry more. Me being a non-native speaker makes it more difficult to understand meaning of the poems I read in English, so I hope that this handbook will help me understand the messages poems try to convey more, because I think I am missing out one of the greatest art forms out there. Poem: Fire and Ice By Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say ... ... middle of paper ... 5: Diction, tone, voice, and imagery differ in poetry from prose because in poetry word choice is much more important due to very limited length of poems. Poets need to place a special connection between them and readers very fast, unlike prose writers who have that ability for a thousand pages. One word chosen wrong in poem – you lose reader’s attention. It doesn’t work the same way in prose, prose is much more forgiving genre of literature in that sense. Negative Capability suggest readers to be emotionless and negative towards poems, otherwise they would not understand the message writer tries to convey. Negative capability encourages objectivity instead of judgment. Works Cited Oliver, Mary. A Poetry Handbook. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994. Print. Frost, Robert. Robert Frost Collection. Place of Publication Not Identified: n.p., 2011. Print.

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