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Air for Mercury Essay | Critical Essay #1

Brenda Hillman
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Critical Essay #1

Poquette has a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. In the following essay, Poquette discusses Hillman's use of structure to influence the pacing in the poem.

Reading and understanding a poem such as Hillman's "Air for Mercury" takes work, as some critics note of the entire Cascadia volume. Rochelle Ratner, the reviewer for Library Journal, says that the volume is "Not for the casual poetry reader." Likewise, in his review of the volume for Valparaiso Poetry Review, Kevin Arnold notes that "The only constant on the pages of Cascadia is the page number," although he does not see Hillman's poems as "intentionally obscure." But Arnold also acknowledges that "given the scope of the greater work, individual poems are not necessarily easy to comprehend on a first reading." This is especially true for some of Hillman's longer poems in the book, such as "Air for...

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This section contains 1,548 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Air for Mercury Study Guide
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Air for Mercury from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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