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Paradiso Essay

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Potter is a university writing instructor and fiction writer living in San Francisco. In this essay, Potter illustrates how Koch crafts line breaks in his poem to affect both its mood and message.

Koch's work is distinguished by its humor and experimental quality, as Koch was a member of the 1950s avant-garde poetic movement known as the New York School, contemporary to the Abstract Expressionist movement in art. Critic Vernon Shetley, reviewing Koch's poetics for the beginning student, Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry, writes that "formally and stylistically, Koch is the most Protean of our poets . . . from surrealist whimsy . . . to deadpan humor. . . . Aristotle, perhaps, might have called him a consistently inconsistent character." However, regarding the themes Koch treats in his work, Shetley feels he is consistent: "the themes of Koch's verse have remained constant since his earliest work, as has his characteristic...

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This section contains 1,322 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paradiso Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Paradiso from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.