Alicia Ostriker Writing Styles in Mastectomy

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Free Verse, also referred to as open form, does not contain set patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza. Rhythm emerges from the repetition of words or phrases or in line breaks. Ostriker’s use of free verse in the poem gives readers a sense that the speaker’s observations are spontaneous, that she is thinking out loud about her experiences. This sense is heightened by her use of simple declarative sentences, such as the opening lines: “I shook your hand before I went. / Your nod was brief, your manner confident.”

Rhythm is achieved in a variety of ways but does not follow any set pattern. The first two lines form a couplet ending with the words “went” and “confident” as do those in the first two lines of the third stanza, “juicy” and “me” but...

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This section contains 341 words
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Buy the Mastectomy Study Guide
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