New and Selected Poems | Critical Essay by Mary Oliver

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of New and Selected Poems.
This section contains 1,676 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Some Thoughts on the Line," in The Ohio Review, Vol. 38, 1987, pp. 41-6.

In the following essay, Oliver discusses the mechanics of poetry and how length and tone variations can result in a wide range of effects.

1.

All manner of effects can be realized by the choices one makes concerning the line, and all choices are determined from a norm point, iambic pentameter.

The iamb is the paramount sound in any string of English words, thus it is the most fluid and natural sound. The pentameter line most nearly matches the breath capacity of our lungs, and is thus the line most suitable to our verse. By suitable I mean it fits without stress and yet makes a full phrase, so it gives off no particular message. It is the norm.

All deviations from the norm do emit messages. Excitement of all kinds, with its...

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This section contains 1,676 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Mary Oliver
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Critical Essay by Mary Oliver from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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