Poetry of the Swamps: A Poetic Swampy Conundrum

Updated on December 18, 2018
Tim Truzy info4u profile image

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

A swamp in eastern NC.
A swamp in eastern NC. | Source

The Importance of Swamps

Swamps are areas where water accumulates because of the low-lying nature of the land. Although they can be treacherous, these environments serve useful purposes for humanity. Swamp lands absorb flood waters as well as collect pollutants. These important attributes of swamps aid with water purification for plants and animals. Indeed, the wildlife in many of these uncultivated places is diverse.

One such swamp, the Great Dismal Swamp, expands from North Carolina to Virginia for over one-hundred thousand square acres along the Atlantic coast. In the swamp, black bears, countless species of reptiles, and birds can be found. Trees such as pine, cedar, and cypress flourish in the wetland environment all year round. But these are merely some of the creatures in the swamp; we benefit from every amazing gift the swamp provides, including inspiration for writing and photography. The poem

When we think of swamps, we think of how these environments remind us some areas of the world and life are not fully cultivated by mankind. For this reason, in literature swamps may be symbolic of dangerous situations. Swamps may also represent confusion going on in towns, a character's life, or the present political climate. I've written a poem below which pays tribute to swamps of the world in all their forms.

Poetry, Books, Movies, and Songs Featuring Swamps as a Setting

Famous songs, movies, poems, and many novels have arose from the inspiration swamps provide. For example, DC Comics has a superhero, Swamp Thing, who was on the big screen in several films in the 1980s. Also, the country artist Blake Shelton released a song in 2001 called, “Ol’ Red,” in which a prisoner escapes through the swamp to freedom. In 2007, the Charlie Daniels Band released “The Legend Of Wooley Swamp,” a tale about a ghostly man in the wetlands who held tight to his money. Finally, in a poetic work by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), entitled “Monadnoc,” the author skillfully relates the beauty of the swamp lands with our lives. But these are mere samples of creativity derived from these ecosystems , and below I’ve provided names of four more books for your examination if you desire:


  1. Balester, P. (2009). In the Dismal Swamp. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike Press.
  2. Bateman, D. M., & Lies, B. (2014). Deep in the swamp. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  3. Fox, Andrew (2003). Fat White Vampire Blues. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
  4. Gailey, S. (2017). River of teeth. New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates.

Poll

what is your favorite aspect of swamps?

See results
Part of the Great Dismal Swamp in eastern North Carolina.
Part of the Great Dismal Swamp in eastern North Carolina. | Source

Swampy Conundrum

Draining immense swamps,

Staining my resolve,

Straining objectives,

Gaining pace dissolved.


“Stay from the muck!

Duck!” mother said,

“Play with water muddy,

Quicksand smothers the head.”


Gases raise the swamp,

Gasping my car,

Bogged from paved roads,

Swamp by the bar.


Gear wears tightly,

Right and left boots,

Step careful lightly,

Aim and don’t shoot.


Bugs swarm desk in marsh,

Bear hug ties in starch,

Vipers clad March in tarps,

Harp armed mosquitoes in dark.

Cypress trees rise from a deep water swamp in southeastern NC.
Cypress trees rise from a deep water swamp in southeastern NC. | Source

Cypress wet swinging oaks,

Ropes bet bodies pine,

Fined strangled sinking votes,

Swamp stinging insects’ mine.


Reptiles’ bill tails,

Hell infecting hill,

Pillow quagmire,

Be dirty or stilled.


L’enfant anchored dry land,

Hand hammered to myth,

Fact slithered to phoniness,

Swamp fiction built.


Chewed up gators’ briefcase,

Sued crocs delay munch,

Ailing aisles filibuster,

Swamp savoring lunch.

A North Carolina swamp in winter.
A North Carolina swamp in winter. | Source

Do you think swamps should be preserved?

See results

Diversity of Creativity Using Swamps

Without question, swamps offer a wonderful setting to place a story or poem in for a writer. These wetlands are filled with mystery and surprises. For this reason, an author can draw upon the various features of swamps to write haunting fictional works or even tell a true story. Heroes and villains can emerge from the backdrop of swamps based on an author’s creativity. Below I’ve provided some symbolic meanings swamps represent in literary creations. However, an author may vary on themes and may use a swamp in a way not suggested here:

Some Symbolic Meanings of Swamps in Literature and Cinema

  • Wetlands in literature or films can suggest something supernatural or superhuman is amidst the dwellers of the area. Seclusion, exclusion, and secrecy can be themes of works using swamps as a setting. Danger and threatening tensions may also be present in such movies, novels, and poetry as well. Some works may include a theme of isolation and death symbolic by the presence of swamps.
  • Swamps could be used to represent the untamed aspect of a character or a group of individuals in a fictional or historic piece. Escaping from an imprisoning emotional or structural enclosure may be represented by a wetland environment in books or other creative works. Going to or leaving a swamp can be symbolic of freedom from chaos or confusion.
  • Likewise, depicting swampy environments can signify harmony with nature and suggest close family or community commitment. An author could be demonstrating a safe or protective perspective with such creations, too. Yet, the values of these characters may not match the norm, symbolizing a distinctive alternative view from the rest of the world.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        6 weeks ago from U.S.A.

        When N.C. received several hurricanes over the last year, the swamp areas were flooded to the point that many had to abandon their homes. As hurricanes are predicted to be more frequent in the foreseeable future, we must carefully balance the need for building dwellings in these environments and the impact such construction could have on the natural habitat. Swamps can help reduce some of the damage if lift in their natural state. We have to be careful with natural resources and our democracy.

        Thanks for reading.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        15 months ago from U.S.A.

        The great British prime minister, Winston Churchill, who led Great Britain through World War II once said: Democracy is the worse form of government on Earth except for all of the rest. America must understand democracy is messy. No one is perfect and no one is above the law. Likewise, we have the power to change our laws and our Constitution. Swamps can change.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)