Joel Brouwer Writing Styles in Last Request

Joel Brouwer
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"Last Request" is written in free verse with very little attention to any literary devices or poetic elements. If not for the line breaks dividing the work into couplets, one could hear it read and could think it was written as a simple prose paragraph. It is this simplicity of language and curt, direct sentences that enhance the poem's shocking subject. Using obvious, flowery meter or contrived metaphors to describe a dead body in a cardboard pyramid with family members standing around "bored / and edgy" would not be nearly as effective as Brouwer's somber, clear address. The speaker gives startling, to-the-point instructions throughout the poem, leading to the most surprising—and most disturbing— request at the end. Note the simple language, yet horrific meaning, in such lines as: "For mortar use duct tape," "Lay me in there naked," "No beer, no burgers or dancing," "You may smoke...

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This section contains 307 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Last Request Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Last Request from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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