Introduction & Overview of The Litany

This Study Guide consists of approximately 20 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Litany.
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The Litany Summary & Study Guide Description

The Litany Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on The Litany by Dana Gioia.

Dana Gioia's collection of poetry Interrogations at Noon (2001), which includes his poem “The Litany,” has been praised for its lyricism as well as its classic sense of subject and theme. One of the strongest poems in the collection, “The Litany” makes a powerful statement of love and loss and of the search for a way to comprehend the nature of suffering. These became common themes in Gioia's poetry after the tragic death of his son at four months of age. Gioia's verse collection The Gods of Winter (1991) expresses his pain over his son's death; his later work is less personal but still focuses on the subject of loss.

In “The Litany,” Gioia makes a confessional investigation of the nature of life and death and the universal design of that nature. Each stanza lists things the speaker has lost. These losses include someone he has loved as well as his faith in his religion, which had taught him to believe in the rightness of the cycle of life and death. His questioning of this cycle becomes an expression of grief.

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This section contains 181 words
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