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Imaging Makes Life Beautiful

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ENGL 1302


12th NOV. 2018

Imaging makes life beautiful

The poem “Singapore” by Mary Oliver talks about the poor working women whom poet saw washing an ashtray in toilet at Singapore airport. The poet has tried to turn those horrible scenarios with beautiful nature by visualization and comparison. What the poet physically saw in the woman and the task she is doing is compared with nature and happiness. The poet associates her nature imagery to make those horrible scenes disappear so that the women can have a life filled with joy and happiness.

             The structure of the poem takes it to the place between what is happening and what is in poet imagination. At the first sight poet was disturbed to see those scenes as she expresses her feeling in the poem, “Disgust argued in my stomach ani I felt, in my pocket, for my ticket” (Oliver, 170). From here we can conclude, the poet is not happy about the time when she sees the women. The poet also looked at women appearance where she made a quick judgement.  In poem it is stated as, “When the woman turned I could not answer the face. Her beauty and her embarrassment struggled together, and neither could win” (Oliver, 171). From these lines we can clearly say that the woman does not seem happy with her job.

             The poet feels lucky because she has the ticket in her pocket and she can get away anytime with the situation. However, she feels sorry for women because working in a toilet is not pleasing for any people. She strongly believes that human life must be accompanied with the freedom and choices for living which might give them opportunity to live the life to the fullest. In poem, poet also tries to spread the message that nature in imaginary, where you can find happiest things in life.

             In the poem, the poet wants us to imagine a happy place and put the working women in place of us. The poet states, “a person wants to stand in happy place, in a poem” (Oliver, 170). We can understand that every people want to live a good life no matter what his status is, they always wanted to be in a place which gives them pleasure of living and makes happy. Besides that, the poet also tries to deliver how an imagination could help to turn out the things no matter what place it is. The poet believes that people always must be in a place where happiness lies.

             The poet circulates around the reality and her imagination through out the poem, where she looks to find out the world of happiness along with nature. For example, poet starts with what she sees, “In the women’s restroom, one compartment stood open” (Oliver, 170). The poet saw a woman who was washing something in a white bowl. She then compares the surrounding with nature where she says, “A waterfall, or if that’s not possible, a fountain rising and falling” (Oliver, 170). From the line we can assure that the poet wants woman in a beautiful waterfall or fountain in her imagination, but the reality is they are in restroom which is not considered as an appropriate place.



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