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“Beyond The Snow Belt” by Mary Oliver

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The poem “beyond the snow belt” by Mary Oliver conveys to us the ignorance of people towards deaths and disasters unrelated to them through the lens of one of them. In the first stanza, Mary paints a seemingly peaceful and happy picture of people’s life by pouring a series of imagery, metaphor and personification. People show no concern about the sufferings and feel no connection to them. As illustrated in the sentence “sweep down their easy paths of pride and welcome ”, those people’s ease and happiness stand in stark contrast to the sufferings experienced by people living in disasters. The second stanza starts with a thought-evoking rhetorical question, revealing the truth of people’s indifference “forget with ease each far mortality”.

The bad news comes from a distant place and eventually passes people’s mind with no trace. People living in peace are not able to feel connected to the deaths happening not around them since their lives stay unaffected. In the last stanza, the author echos the theme with an accepting tone “all news arrives as from a distant place”. She points out that it is a usual thing for people to ignore tragedies because of the long distance between them. In their view, all the disasters and sufferings seem to exist in another world; as long as their lives stay the same, all the pains have nothing to do with them. In conclusion, this poem expresses a sad truth that people are more likely to ignore deaths and tragedies happening far away from them and stay totally unrelated.

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