Music Lessons Criticism

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Robert DeMott writes that Oliver, along with Theodore Roethke and Galway Kinnell, is "sensitive to visitations by the 'dark things' of the wood." Two characteristics emerge here: that Oliver is a poet of death and of nature. But Diane Wakoski notices that "If Oliver writes of 'dark things,' they are friendly, benevolent dark things. Even her vision of death is gentle, pastoral and haunting, rather than fearful or violent." Perhaps Wakoski forgot the "knife at the throat" in "Music Lessons."

As to nature, the ambitious collection of fifty-one poems entitled Twelve Moons (1979), from which "Music Lessons" comes, primarily concentrates on the imagery and cycles of nature, including twelve poems dedicated to different lunar phases. Oliver celebrates the natural cycles of birth, decay, and death as flourishing in all life. In the poetic landscape of Oliver's mythic worlds, starry realms are connected to the realms of flora and...

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This section contains 441 words
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Buy the Music Lessons Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Music Lessons from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.