Beowulf Essay

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Mowery has a Ph.D. in literature and composition from Southern Illinois University. He has written many essays for Gale. In the following essay, he examines imagery and Wilbur's use of Old English poetic techniques in the poem "Beowulf."

In his poem "Ars poetica," Archibald MacLeish said that "a poem should not mean but be." Richard Wilbur believes that a poem is not a vehicle for communicating a message but that it is an object with "its own life" and "individual identity." Wilbur's poetry is often intellectually taxing, and he expects the reader to be involved in the poem, its imagery and substance. He does not intend to communicate a message, but rather to create an interesting piece of writing. He believes that art ought to "spring from the imagination" and create a "condition of spontaneous psychic unity." That unity depends on the relationship of the inner parts...

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This section contains 1,722 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beowulf Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Beowulf from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.