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The Black Snake

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  1. The Black Snake by Mary Oliver

  2. Mary Oliver “I don’t think I have ever been bored one day in my life.” Mary Oliver

  3. Mary Oliver was born in Maple Heights, Ohio, in 1935… She lived a quiet simple life… Oliver Now lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts… She still lives a quiet life with nature.

  4. The Black Snake by Mary Oliver Pg. 554

  5. A painful scene of death

  6. When the black snake flashed onto the morning road, and the truck could not swerve— death, that is how it happens.

  7. Now he lies looped and useless as an old bicycle tire. I stop the car and carry him into the bushes.

  8. He is as cool and gleaming as a braided whip, he is as beautiful & quiet as a dead brother. I leave him under the leaves

  9. anddrive on, thinking about death: its suddenness, its terrible weight, its certain coming. Yet under

  10. reason burns a brighter fire, which the bones have always preferred. It is the story of endless good fortune. It says to oblivion: not me!

  11. It is the light at the center of every cell. It is what sent the snake coiling and flowing forward happily all spring through the green leaves before he came to the road.

  12. Mood & Tone

  13. Review • What does The black snake symbolize? • What are the main themes in the poem? • What is ironic about the snake’s death? • Describe the speaker in The Black Snake. • Where does the poet use:Simile, Metaphor, Parallelism, and imagery • How does parallelism serve the author’s purpose? • What is the significance of circles in this poem? • What are the mood and tone in the poem? • Does the speaker’s mood change throughout the poem? • Which device did Mary Oliver use to imply mood in her poem?

  14. More from Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver