Heron Essay

622 words - 3 pages

“A Poem for the Blue Heron,” a free verse poem written by Mary Oliver, focuses on and observes a blue heron making the decision to begin its southern migration. The speaker is awestricken by the pulchritude of the magnificent creature and admires the annual migration it must take to survive. The excerpt from “Cold Mountain”, a historical fiction novel by Charles Frazier, focuses on the discovery of a heron by a girl from across the river. The tone prevalent throughout this excerpt reveals the speaker is impressed by the prodigious stature and sophistication of the bird. The speaker feels the doughty bird deserves respect and sincere reverence. Although the authors develop these attitudes through their own writing styles, many similarities and differences in tone are evident upon analyzing the two literary works.

The two authors use similar techniques to produce homogeneous tones. Each author utilizes a profusion of imagery to create their tone. For example, imagery such as “the heron lifts his long wings leisurely and rows forward” from the poem and “the immense wings soared just above her head and up and away through the forest canopy” in the novel chronicle the same event, flight. They both also employ similes to aggrandize the tone. “The ponds shine like blind eyes” taken from “A Poem for the Blue Heron” corresponds with “At wide intervals it took delicate slow steps, lifting a foot from out the water and pausing, as if waiting for it to quit dripping, and then placing it back on the river bottom in a new spot chosen only after deep reflection.” from “Cold Mountain”. The tones of both pieces of belles-lettres are consubstantial in that their narrators share an appreciation of the majestic appearance of the heron and the gentility of the bird in volitation, as revealed in the quotes “Ada felt the sweep of wings, the stir...

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