Starfish and Mysteries
When one goes to the ocean, the ocean creates peace and tranquility, but behind it is a depth of mystery. It creates a sense of happiness, a sense of that one is actually there in the moment and not being rushed by little things in their day. The ocean is a place of healing, a place for peace, and a place for whatever means necessary. The ocean may be calm but has it mysterious side because what really is lurking under the surface of the cool, salty water? From the biggest whale shark to the smallest starfish. Something could easily take one under if one isn’t fully aware. The ocean is the biggest living part of our planet; it’s a part of our life but with that why does it have such a heavy impact? It’s like the lungs of earth breathing in and out with every tide.
Two of the most influential substances in our solar system that exists makes one think of how incredible this planet is. This shows how those two contributing factors affect one another on a daily basis. The moon effects the tides, the currents, and the breathability of the ocean. The sun also effects the ocean life, and the contributions are literally out of our world. The sun affects the health of the human body. The sun is a huge part of the ocean’s ecosystem because it gives the ocean life. The warmth radiating from the surface of the water attracts multiple marine mammals but when the warmth changes the starfish notice, causing a mass of starfish migrations in several locations. Starfish are like life in a way through that they cover ground so slow but continue to move over life’s obstacles and mysteries. In the poem, Starfish the author uses tone, imagery, symbolism, diction and the speaker to help demonstrate that life keeps on moving even though there might be mysteries.
The author created a sense of peace and tranquility in the very beginning of the poem; the author treats the poem as if it were a calm day in the ocean. No waves, No swells, not a single ripple in the water. The crash of the waves are slow and steady and not defining. She begins creating a calm setting with starting off with “This is what life does,” a simple statement. This is what life does, it goes on. It doesn’t stop, it keeps moving. It’s a constant continuum of time. Life does what it does and its’ day in and day out. She uses this to her advantage because it connects to the tone that has presented itself. It sets the reader up for an adventure in the poem because it creates a soothing effect.
Another phrase that is very present in the poem is “It lets you…” every time after the “you” it sets up a different picture, a different feeling. It makes the reader wonder what the speaker of the poem is going through in their day and acknowledges the tone of calmness. The author uses an unacknowledged underlying tone that it very present due to all the rhetorical questions present in the poem. The underlying tone is a mysteriously, uplifting tone through that life keeps moving on and a day doesn’t stop moving, but there is questions that might stop one throughout the day. In the context of the poem ones day, bad news or something that makes them enter a not so calm mindset, which can make one pause in her thoughts and lose sight of their day.
The author uses rhetorical questions to her advantage because it makes the reader stop and think about what she is trying to portray this example of diction in the poem. The rhetorical questions are always at the end of the last set of stanzas. But they are always reminiscing about the stanzas above and questioning if the choices and decisions they had made were the best in her own interest. With self-doubting it’s never a tell-tale story; one always thinks about what they could have done differently, and the speaker is very present with how the questions surround their life as well as making them step back and take a pause. The author’s sense of tranquility is very deliberate because of the tone she sets out.
In the poem Starfish, the author creates a deep image of how life is for someone by using diction to imitate the wandering mind. Life varies from person to person on this planet. Life is something different, something unique, and something mysterious. Life can cause twists and turns and not really knowing what’s next, but the speaker in the poem has a different perspective on life. The author draws up a deeper image of how calm and mysterious the setting is. She persuades the reader through creating a very detailed image of not only in the poem but also in the imagery used in her diction. Life is what it is. It is different for everyone but for the speaker it seems to be more than that. It seems life is more than it actually is, “It lets you walk up to the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, the channel was full of starfish.” In lines 1-6 it shows how much the speaker is stuck on how much life is so important to them. That creates an image of wanting.
The channel full of starfish is an important part of the poem because it seems as if the starfish are a sign to the speaker and that image of wanting makes it all connect. Throughout the poem the image of wanting is very prevalent like in lines 12-32. “And then life suggests that you remember the years you ran around, the years you developed a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon, owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have become. And then life lets you go home to think about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.” That image of wanting is so present because life makes one remember and recollect about ones past as well as how they are acting now. It helps the reader understand the position of the author and what she is trying to accomplish in the images that they have presented to the reader. Wanting is a deep image here because it feels like the speaker is wanting for normalcy and is questioning themselves in every stanza. So in this she ties in the starfish because starfish wander the sea floor, flowing in and out of the waves and currents. This reflects the image by that wanting to belong is life’s mystery. But also reflects on the author’s use of diction because it helps develop the sense of tranquility as well calm level nature. She uses diction and imagery side by side because it helps the reader pause and reflect on what is right in front of them.
In the poem, Starfish the author creates this sense of peace and tranquility but there was always this sense of mystery. The authors has a juxtaposition of the personal world that coincides with the natural world. She reflects on the starfish that swim into the bay but it also becomes a self-reflection about choices and decisions. She uses the phrase “Where whole generations of biological processes are boiling beneath the mud.” She continues to reflect on the images at hand with the reeds and the birds but making it full circle with collecting her thoughts back to the starfish, “The starfish drift through the channel, with smiles on their starry faces as they head out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.” It makes a full circle just like how life does. Life is an ominous concept that varies from person to person. But for the author, she puts herself in the poem and creates this sense of questioning how life does what it does, but why does it? Her sense of calmness collides with mystery because there will always be that unknown. The speaker in the poem reflects the author’s personal questions as well as the personal memories that the author experienced.
In the poem, Starfish the author brings many different ideas to the metaphorical table of life. She uses imagery and diction to help portray life with how it falls back and reminiscing on memories or choices that one made in the past. She uses tone to help the reader a better understanding of what life does. It does what it wants with a sense of peace and tranquility but a sense of mystery waiting underneath the surface. Symbolism embeds itself underneath the tone, like starfish waiting in the tide pools in the channels. It helps the reader understand that life is full circle but has a lot of different paths to take in that very circle. Lastly she uses the speaker to help portray life choices and decisions that she reflects on personally in this poem.
This poem was very reflective and helped the reader understand and pause in their own thoughts about their own experiences. It helped me reflect with that the authors use of diction as well as her use of imagery helped me understand why she set up the poem how she did. She juxtaposed it with images of herself in that time with reminiscing thoughts and challenges. I enjoyed the poem because it made me reflect on my own personal behalf as well as look at my future. The poem as a whole was very moving as well as very thought provoking. It made the reader stop and pause. It helped the reader feel a sense of peace and calm but also that sense of wanting. The starfish were like the reader, coming into the channel gathering some thoughts and exiting once again.