By David Galens
This sequence is designed in particular to satisfy the curricular wishes of highschool and undergraduate students learning poetry. a brief yet information-rich reference resource, each one quantity of "Poetry for college students offers research of roughly 20 poems that academics and librarians have pointed out because the most often studied in literature classes.
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Extra info for Poetry for Students Volume 18
V o l u m e 1 8 Maxine Kumin Poem Summary Lines 1–3 The first three lines of “Address to the Angels” set the scene in which the speaker envisions the events of the poem. As with many poems, the real action takes place within the mind of the narrator while he or she is physically somewhere else. Here, the speaker describes being in an airplane, “Taking off at sunset,” when the ascension of the plane makes the sun appear to be pulled up with it and “pin[ned] . . over the rim” of the earth. Lines 4–6 In these lines, Kumin offers a contradiction to the metaphor proposed in the first three lines.
Kumin believes in animal species and sees the human animal as having a chance for survival, as in “In the Park”: You have forty-nine days between death and rebirth if you’re a Buddhist. Even the smallest soul could swim the English Channel in that time The best of Kumin’s poems, like this one, maintain a cool humor and charm. In addition to her rich and smooth wit, Kumin’s greatest skill is to make images, wonderful images, that turn into big metaphors. Playing with dualities and manipulating everyday language so that it works with the complexities of ideas and patterns, she invokes the irony that comes out of Dionysian tragedy.
In short, the 1970s is remembered as a time when the counterculture became the no-culture. In spite of the narcissism and triviality that tended to rule the 1970s, the period was not without its share of social adversity and historical significance. It saw the end of the Vietnam War, though few heralded the occasion with little more than contempt for America’s involvement in the first place. Citizens turned away in grief at the loss of human life, and politicians who had supported the conflict turned away in shame at North Vietnam’s victory.