When examining a poet’s oeuvre one notes the various thematic elements that are not only characteristic of individual poems they construct, but also the broad scope and trends linking the entire collection of their work. In some regards then, grasping a poet’s ultimate…
Indeed, a general perusal of Wright’s work reveals his interest in political concerns, but the most underlining features of his writing are the social and human concerns he addresses with great clarity. Consider his seminal poem ‘A Blessing’. In this poem Wright describes his encounter with two horses, and describes the meeting like he might an interaction with another person whom he cares dearly. In ‘A Note Left in Jimmy Leonard’s Shack,’ Wright continues his characteristic use of clear dialogue and concerns with daily human existence. For instance, he writes, “He’s drunk or dying now, I don’t know which,/ Rolled in the roots and garbage like a fish,/ The poor old man” (Perkins). While lacking stylistic complexity, it’s clear that the most unifying traits of Wright’s work is this ability to explore meaningful human concerns with great ease and clarity.
In considering the poems of Edward Arlington Robinson one is drawn to the stark contrast his writing holds from that of James Wright. E.A. Robinson’s work has is more classically ‘poetic’ in that it is much more stylized, with some poems containing rhyming schemes and even iambic pentameter. While throughout the entire canon of Robinson’s work one is capable of identifying a plethora of themes, perhaps because of his upbringing that included the death of a brother to overdose and his largely solitary life. Consider poems like ‘Luke Havergal’ wherein Robinson largely utilizes iambic pentameter to convey the dark tone with a speaker that returns from the grave to implore Havergal to visit the western wall and speak with a mysterious individual. Another poem ‘Richard Cory’ continues Robinson’s use of iambic pentameter and while it begins in describing an individual with his outwardly happy, it concludes with the fateful words, “And Richard ...
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