Jane Kenyon Writing Styles in Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School

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If you were to hear Jane Kenyon read aloud "Trouble with Math in aOne-Room Country School" and not know it is broken into 25 lines and divided into three stanzas, it might sound like a well-crafted brief story, or anecdote. Yet, Kenyon did set her experience within the "confines" of a poetic form, the style called "free verse." Like the thematic paradox of freedom and enclosure that shapes this poem, "free verse" is not freedom from form. It is freedom within the discipline of well-chosen words, sensory details, images, combinations of sounds within and among words, and punctuation, all of which contribute meaningfully, not haphazardly, to its existence as a poem.

Much the way chapters help organize the narrative elements of fiction, or paragraphs signal a change in the focus of an essay, the stanza breaks in a poem can also signal a shift in perception, feeling, or action. To...

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This section contains 894 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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