Kindness Historical Context

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Only by the brief identifier at the end of “Kindness” in Different Ways to Pray can one attribute a specific time and place to both the setting and the inspiration of the poem. “(Colombia, 1978)” implies that this work resulted from one of the poet's many travels, in this case to South America. It is interesting that the date is omitted in the version of “Kindness” that appears in the later collection Words under the Words. This omission may simply be a matter of preference or change in editorial style, but it may also suggest that the message in the poem is timeless.

Despite the fact that Colombia has had three military takeovers and two civil wars in its history, the country has a long and enduring democratic tradition, marred sporadically by violent and effective insurgencies. During the mid-twentieth century, the second civil war cost...

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This section contains 341 words
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Buy the Kindness Study Guide
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