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John Ashbery Writing Styles in Paradoxes and Oxymorons

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 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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Sonnet

"Paradoxes and Oxymorons" is not a sonnet, but it approximates one in form and subject matter, and critics reviewing Shadow Train regularly comment on the collection as a variation on a sonnet sequence. Historically, sonnets consist of fourteen lines. The Petrarchan sonnet, named after the fourteenth-century Italian poet Petrarch, has an octave (eight lines) that rhymes abbaabba, and a sestet (six lines) that rhymes cdecde or sometimes cdccdc, while the English, or Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains (four lines) that rhyme abab cdcd efef, and a couplet (two lines) which rhymes gg. "Paradoxes and Oxymorons," like the other forty-nine poems in the collection, consists of four unrhymed quatrains. Ashbery's poem, however, like many sonnets, takes love (loosely) as its subject.

Address

"Paradoxes and Oxymorons" addresses the reader, which is unusual but not unheard of in contemporary poetry. The use of the second person "you" is more common...

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This section contains 214 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paradoxes and Oxymorons Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Paradoxes and Oxymorons from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.