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Paradoxes and Oxymorons Critical Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Paradoxes and Oxymorons.
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Critical Overview

Shadow Train (1981), the collection in which "Paradoxes and Oxymorons" appears, received mixed reviews. In his study of Ashbery's poetry On the Outside Looking Out, critic John Shoptaw calls "Paradoxes and Oxymorons" the most popular poem in Shadow Train and notes that at one point Ashbery considered making it the title poem of the collection but then thought better of it when he realized that many readers might not know what an oxymoron was. Shoptaw writes that "The poem itself voices Ashbery's populist impulse to reach the common reader, who thinks poems are constructed on many interpretive levels." In his essay on Ashbery for American Writers, Shoptaw says that "Although Shadow Train is dwarfed by earlier volumes such as Three Poems or As We Know, it may be the right place to begin for the reader who wants to learn Ashbery's alphabet." Vernon Shetley, on the other hand, cautions...

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This section contains 326 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Paradoxes and Oxymorons Study Guide
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Paradoxes and Oxymorons from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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