Louise Erdrich Writing Styles in Bidwell Ghost

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"Bidwell Ghost" is written in eight short free verse stanzas, each usually three lines long. Unlike traditional verse, where each line is determined by a set number of accents or metric feet, the line lengths in this poem vary widely, ranging anywhere from four to sixteen words each. In free verse, the form of the poem grows from the poem's changing moods and subject matter—in this case, the poet chooses short, individual stanzas to organize her images. Stanza, in Italian, literally means room, so it might be useful to think of reading this poem as walking through eight small rooms and seeing, smelling, hearing, and touching the images placed in each. Erdrich closes every stanza with a period, not letting any images flow into the next. These lines ending on a period are called end-stopped lines, unlike enjambed lines, which have no punctuation at the end and "run...

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This section contains 155 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bidwell Ghost Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Bidwell Ghost from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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