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The Garden Shukkei-en Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

Semansky is an instructor of literature whose writing appears regularly in literary journals. In this essay, Semansky considers the idea of witness in Forché's poem.

Forché is known for writing a poetry of witness. Her first two collections are full of firstperson poems, the "I" who sees this or that atrocity and reports on it. She became famous for poems such as "The Colonel," a thinly veiled autobiographical account of an experience in El Salvador with a diabolical military man. With her edited collection Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness, Forché lets the victims speak for themselves. Poets such as Yusef Komunyakaa, Richard Wright, Bei Dao, and Dennis Brutus write about their direct experiences with racism, oppression, and war. In her introduction to that collection, Forché calls the poems "a poetry of witness," asserting that such a poetry "reclaims the social from the...

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This section contains 1,342 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Garden Shukkei-en Study Guide
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The Garden Shukkei-en from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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