The Legend Essay

Garrett Hongo
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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature. In this essay, he examines how Hongo avoids sentimentalizing the situation in this poem by openly admitting his own shortcomings.

Poetry is based on the practice of observation. Poets tend to view the world in greater detail than the average person, in an effort to render it in a few words that might match the intensity of living. When poetry carefully reconstructs the physical world, the things that are considered commonplace or even ugly reveal their inherent beauty. Poets create their most convincing statements on the nature of the universe not by theorizing but by looking at things carefully and accurately reporting what they see.

The same dynamic applies when poets want to address social situations. While it might be tempting for a poet to discuss rather than unveil—to proclaim theories about the way things are instead...

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This section contains 1,405 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Legend Study Guide
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