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Maxine Kumin Writing Styles in Address to the Angels

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The poem is written in contemporary free verse, though it is not without some standard poetic crafting by the poet. Kumin uses alliteration (like-sounding consonants or vowels) and a few subtle slant-rhymes that may go unnoticed on a first-read. Note the repetition of the s sound in the first two lines with the words "sunset," "city," "seems," and "sun." In line 3, there are like-sounding vowels in "pin" and "rim," and the consonant r in "rim" is paired with "round" in the following line. Samples of alliteration like these are found throughout the poem, such as "barn," "blundering," and "boil" in the second stanza; "compulsion," "come clean," and "criterion," in the third; and "some sacred CIA" in the final.

Because the poem has no specific rhythm, the rhymes that it contains are not as obvious as those in a tightly structured and metered poem. In the first...

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This section contains 245 words
(approx. 1 page 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.