Peter Viereck Writing Styles in Kilroy

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Viereck's style of verse is generally considered lyric poetry, but the description does not end there. Lyric poets use a melodic rhythm and rhyme to write subjectively and personally about feelings and events that most human beings experience. Viereck may do just this with his poems, but he often throws the melody off-key and the rhyme scheme askew by using coarse, unrhymed words and comedic imagery that surprise the reader, sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not.

"Kilroy" is an example of what may be called near-lyric poetry. It is filled with commentary on the life of a soldier—something that has been written about by thousands of writers for centuries. But Viereck's style is unorthodox in its glorification of a warrior's day-to-day activities. Here, the images shift quickly from one allusion to another, taking the reader from ancient mythology ("Ulysses once— that other war") to the mid-twentieth century...

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This section contains 415 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kilroy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Kilroy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.