Practice Essay

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Bussey holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies and a bachelor's degree in English literature. She is an independent writer specializing in literature. In the following essay, she provides a close reading of Ellen Bryant Voigt's poem to reveal how the grief expressed is a specific kind of grief. It is newly inflicted and is also the speaker's first experience with grief.

Voigt's carefully wrought poem “Practice” is featured in her sixth volume of poetry, Shadow of Heaven. In it, the speaker expresses the deep, penetrating pain of grief at having lost a loved one. The reader is challenged to read the poem closely to understand the speaker's feelings, because the speaker is too pained to be able to explain herself in a clear and organized way. Even though the speaker in “Practice” is not chaotic in her expression, there are definite signals throughout the poem that...

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This section contains 1,510 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Practice Study Guide
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