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Mind Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of literature and composition. In this essay, Semansky considers the philosophy of Graham's poem. In the introduction to The Best American Poetry 1990, Graham says about poetry: "Each poem is . . . an act of the mind that tries . . . to clean the language of its current lies, to make it capable of connecting us to the world." However, her own poems often belie this very claim, as they suggest that language is incapable of such an act, and that humanity's separation from the world and human beings' separation from one another are inevitable. "Mind" shows how lying forms an inescapable part of human experience, and how self-delusion is unavoidable.

The very act of writing a poem called "Mind," which attempts to describe in a universal fashion how the mind works, is in keeping with Graham's metaphysical tendencies. Metaphysics, derived from the Greek meta ta physika ("after the...

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Poetry for Students
Mind from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.