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Address to the Angels Essay

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In the following essay, Estess explores Kumin's The Retrieval System, regarding Kumin's reaction to close friend Anne Sexton's death and how that event stirred the feelings of loneliness and anger in "Address to the Angels."

The Retrieval System, Maxine Kumin's sixth book of poetry, is about surviving loss. It confirms things many of us already knew about its author, a just-past-middle-age, increasingly refined, non- suicidal poet. The main value in both her life and her poetry is preservation. That which is retrieved in her system may be the simple life of fruits and vegetables or it may be something in her unconscious. But in The Retrieval System the things that most need to be recovered, savored and saved are the memories of those no longer within the poet's physical reach. This is the primary kind of loss with which Kumin, in her mid-fifties, lives. Kumin's courage in dealing...

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This section contains 3,490 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Address to the Angels Study Guide
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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.