For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of literature and composition. In this essay, Semansky considers how Hugo's poem locates the writer's identity.

In his essay "The Triggering Town," Hugo writes: "Your way of writing locates, even creates, your inner life." However, Hugo was no confessionalist. Hugo considers a writer's work an index for identity because he sees language itself as a constitutive part of a person's emotional life. For Hugo, writing poetry was both a way to negotiate the confusing demands of a self that he had given to him and a way to reshape that self. Hugo had his share of emotional pain, publicly talking and writing about his troubled childhood, his difficulty with women, his divorce, his battle with alcohol, and his psychoanalysis. His poem "For Jennifer, 6, on the Teton," an "advice" poem, can be read as a primer of sorts on what Hugo has learned from his...

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This section contains 1,295 words
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Buy the For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.