Portrait of a Couple at Century's End Essay

Sherod Santos
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David Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature. In this essay, he examines the ways that Santos balances misery with banality.

Poetry in general can be looked at as a balance between ideas, which are insubstantial, and the imagery used to tether them. There is no way to tell in advance what the proper balance will be. For some poems, being heavy on ideas is the way to go, but other poems reach maximum effectiveness with a series of images that require readers to use their interpretive skills to piece together meanings. It would be a mistake to say that a poem has the right style before knowing what ideas are being conveyed. As the rule for writers states, form should serve the piece's function, not dictate it.

A poem like Santos's “Portrait of a Couple at Century's End” is effective because it establishes its...

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This section contains 1,522 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Portrait of a Couple at Century's End Study Guide
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