Introduction & Overview of Art Thou the Thing I Wanted

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Art Thou the Thing I Wanted.
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Art Thou the Thing I Wanted Summary & Study Guide Description

Art Thou the Thing I Wanted Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on Art Thou the Thing I Wanted by Alice Fulton.

“Art Thou the Thing I Wanted,” by Alice Fulton, was first published in 1990 in her collection Powers of Congress (reprinted in 2001) and was also published in 2004 in her larger collection Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems. “Art Thou the Thing I Wanted” is a poem about longing, among many other things; one particular overtone focuses on how one accepts one's lot in life, and this acceptance in fact stands in opposition to longing. Each of these two opposing forces is subtly apparent in the poem's title, which suggests as well as questions that longing, as if the speaker is sure of neither her desire nor the object of her desire.

Fulton has stated that her writing revolves around words, and indeed, “Art Thou the Thing I Wanted” provides a good example of how much fun Fulton has with language. She appears to like employing obscure vocabulary, often using words that might push her readers in surprising directions, as if she is enjoying a private joke. Her poems are playful—but the message underneath may be more serious. The emotions are hidden, waiting to be discovered, much like the “solutions” that Fulton refers to in the poem. “Problems,” one line asserts, are “more interesting than solutions.” The situation may be similar for the poem itself: the wordplay and twists in meaning may be at least as interesting as the emotions they describe.

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