James Dickey Writing Styles in Hospital Window

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"The Hospital Window" is a free verse poem with elements of meter and rhythm dispersed throughout. Dickey's early poetry—primarily the first three collections, Into the Stone, Drowning With Others, and Helmets—are actually less free than his later work, but still avoid heavy rhyming and overdone alliteration. He was, however, fond of the anapest, or a metrical unit containing two short syllables followed by a long one. One example of this form of meter in "The Hospital Window" is in the first line: "I have just—." Read the phrase aloud and note how the word "just" seems longer, how the voice tends to stretch it out more than the words "I have," which are pronounced more quickly. Try it with other anapests from the poem, such as "six white floors," "the firm street," "In the shape," "Lifts his arm," and "And I turn."

In his preface...

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This section contains 407 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hospital Window Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Hospital Window from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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