Agha Shahid Ali Writing Styles in The Country Without a Post Office

Agha Shahid Ali
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Form

"The Country Without a Post Office" is written in four sections, each composed of three eightline stanzas (octaves) rhymed ABCDDCBA. This unconventional, yet symmetrical, rhyme scheme mirrors the movement of the speaker, who moves in and out of darkness, up and down the minaret. Each line contains roughly ten syllables, which provides one more restriction on the poet. The restrictions of the poem create a tight linguistic environment, which parallels the suffocating emotional state of the speaker, who struggles to understand himself and to make sense of the war raging in his homeland.

Address

Who is the "he" the speaker returns to find? There is no definitive answer. The person the speaker seeks can be both a lover or a loved one and a part of himself with whom he is seeking to make contact. The latter point makes sense when one considers the third section in which...

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This section contains 244 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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Copyrights
Poetry for Students
The Country Without a Post Office from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.