In “Crossing the Swamp” the poet uses many literary devices to let the reader see the comparison between the swamp and the speaker. The author uses figurative language such as imagery, personification, and different metaphors to describe the comparison between the speaker and the swamp. The use of imagery in the poem helps the reader to have a clear image of the swamp and the speaker. Personification is needed to help the swamp to have human-like qualities and the speaker to have swamp like qualities. Metaphors are used at the end of the poem to compare the speakers passage through the swamp to the growing to changing swamp.
The use of figurative language help the reader better understand the poem and the comparison between the speaker and the swamp. Imagery in the poem is used to describe the swamp and let the reader see into the eyes of the speaker. Imagery allows the reader to see what the speaker is seeing. Imagery lets the reader know what is happening to the speaker and the swamp. Personification is a way to give the swamp more human like attributes.
The human traits given to the swamp let the reader know that the swamp is like a human in many ways. The poet describes the swamp as, “dark burred faintly blanched bogs.” This quote is showing the reader that like a human, the swamp has gone through some difficult challenges as well. The poem as says, “Here is swamp, here is struggle.” This better describes how the swamp has more human like qualities than we see at first glance. Metaphors are also a way of comparing the speaker to the swamp.
At first the swamp is described as a, “struggle, closure.” Later in the poem the poet uses the metaphor, “a poor dry stick given one more chance by the whims of swamp water.” Since a metaphor gives something the ability of a human quality it explains that a stick can’t be given another chance but the swamp water gave the “little stick” another “chance.” A stick by itself is not able to reproduce by itself. So, this quote is a metaphor for seeing how someone can be “reborn” of sorts and have a better outcome in life. Through imagery, personification, and metaphors, the poet is able to describe the swamp and the speaker as two separate beings yet sometimes a like. The different literary devices help the reader better understand what the poet wants them to see and feel about the “players” in the scene.