The Last Question Essay

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In the following excerpt, Grant examines the various influences on and styles of Parker's poetry.

Parker's scathing wit was likely sharpened by the two years she spent under pressure at Vogue forced to dream up witty lines to decorate the years' changing fashions. But the epigrammatic clarity and precision of her style was forged, as Arthur Kinney has shown, from her study and imitation of classical Latin poets begun at Miss Dana's school and perfected by her reading of classical imitators among her contemporaries. Roman wit suffuses her own, abundantly demonstrated in her poetry. From Catullus, by way of Housman, she learned to express the disappointment of love in deceptively simple, conversational, yet elegantly polished and succinct songs that at their best strike the reader as both unabashedly confessional and ironically distanced in tone. Hence, "Summary":

Every love's the love before
In a duller dress.
That's the measure...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 1,614 words
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Buy The Last Question Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Last Question from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.