Analysis of “Where Does the Temple Begin. Where Does It End?” by Mary Oliver

1500 Words Apr 20th, 2013 6 Pages
Sultan Qaboos University- Language Centre

FPEL EEAL0560 Poetry Project File







Analysis of “Where Does the Temple Begin. Where does it end?” by Mary Oliver

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Name: Eman Amer Salim AL-amri .

ID Number:102400.

Section: 350 .

Submitted to : Nicholas Hilmers.



Where Does the Temple Begin,

Where Does It End?

There are things you can’t reach.

But you can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away.

The idea of God.

And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.

The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily, out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing from the unreachable top of the tree.

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just
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In line 6 the writer gives us an image in the phrase the snake slides away. Here the writer describes the wonderful movement of a snake that can make you carious to know how it is created. Furthermore in the same line the speaker give us a simile when she describes the jumping of a fish like a little lily which is “type of plant that grows from a bulb and that has large white or coloured flowers”.( Oxford dictionary 2006)The writer also gives us another great image of nature :The gold finches sing from the unreachable top of the tree . Here unreachable top of the tree is connected to the first line of the poem where there are things you can’t reach even if you want to like the gold finches who sing from a far place. In line 7 the writer invites us to look at nature by saying I look and then saying morning to night where she means she looks at nature all day long without feeling bored or done with looking.





In line 8 the writer tells us that in line 7 when she said looking she didn’t mean just standing around in nature, but standing around as though with your arms open .Here I think the writer means that your mind should be open and think about what god created .In line 9 the poet extends this idea by saying that when you stand around with your mind open and working, maybe something will come to you, for example, a shining coil of wind. Maybe she means some air which will give you an energetic spirit. Moreover when Oliver says few…