In the poem, “Crossing the Swamp” by Mary Oliver, describes a traveler crossing through dark and deep swamp.
Oliver compares the swamp with life, how in life there may be some obstacles, there may be a lot of struggles but these struggles will lead to better things in life. Oliver portrays different tones as towards the beginning it is sad and towards the end of the poem, it is a happy ending. Oliver is teaching a lesson on how life can be very challenging but has rewards in the near future. Crossing the Swamp is very symbolic as the swamp is a symbol for life. Life and the Swamp have many things in common, both can be challenging or difficult to get through or fight.
In the end there would be big rewards where Oliver emphasizes “pathless, seamless, and peerless mud” (Oliver 14-15) to show the swamp will be difficult to pass. Where rewards will lead into another opportunity where this opportunity will give you a reward better than the first one. Oliver in the beginning of the poem starts off very sad and makes her way down where there is still hope for a better life. Although, Oliver might have used imagery that was dark in the beginning, towards the end of the poem, there is still hope in a better life even though there would be difficult tasks or obstacles on your way.
Possibility has a huge role in the poem, as anything can happen in the “Swamp”, as she refers to being recalled to life coming from something that was hopeless to begin with (swamp). Oliver wants to explain how everyone has difficulties in life, and how if you work hard, your hard work would pay off in the long run. Oliver may have made the swamp seem endless but there is always a way out, a way out to a wonderful life.