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Address to the Angels Essay

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In the following essay, Wakoski gives a useful overview of Kumin's poetic and worldly philosophy, discussing how Kumin's naturalistic poetry helps sustain the poet throughout the evolution of her life.

Maxine Kumin, who jokingly has referred to herself, the earth motherly nature poet, as "Roberta Frost," at first may seem to possess a very simple sense of the physical world. But she is a metaphysician too. Her best collection of poems, The Retrieval System, explores ideas that make the notion of death acceptable. Much has been made of her close friendship with Anne Sexton, but its literary importance probably resides in forcing Kumin to leap out of her comfortable physical world of family and benevolent nature into a craggier world and personality, more like that of curmudgeonly Robert Frost.

Earth mythology is always about use and misuse. Thus, the concerns of Kumin as a person become central to...

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This section contains 714 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Poetry for Students
Address to the Angels from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.