Answers to Letters Essay

Tomas Tranströmer
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Trudell is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English literature. In the following essay, Trudell discusses the journey of self-discovery in "Answers to Letters," arguing that the speaker uses the poem to answer the letters of his past and define who he is.

The central metaphors in Tranströmer's poem are the letters that the speaker desires to answer, from the initial letter that arrived twenty-six years before to the "unanswered letters" that "pile up" in the final stanza, but it is not entirely clear what these metaphors represent. They could, in part, be meant to signify a friend or lover, or the memory of such a person who has been lost or left behind. Or, given the fact that the initial letter is "in panic" and the speaker seems anxious to clear the clouds associated with the letters, Tranströmer may be implying...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,483 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Answers to Letters Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Answers to Letters from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.