The Cossacks Essay

Linda Pastan
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Bussey is an independent writer specializing in literature. In the following essay, she discusses Pastan's poem “The Cossacks” with emphasis on the speaker's preoccupation with death.

Pastan's poem “The Cossacks” conveys images of mercenaries, small talk, manners, final days, strong emotions, a plain dress, a banquet, and a crisp autumn day. It is evidence of Pastan's skill as a poet that these wide-ranging images and ideas converge to give unified insight into the speaker's preoccupation with death. The speaker sees death not as the peaceful and inevitable end of a person's life but as a cruel enemy constantly on the hunt for her. Because the speaker's voice has such depth and is so well developed, the various images form a unified message of fear. In less accomplished hands, such differing thoughts and images would result in confusion, but in Pastan's hands, each line creates a voice that...

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This section contains 1,496 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cossacks Study Guide
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