Related Topics

Introduction & Overview of The Reverse Side

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Reverse Side.
This section contains 185 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Reverse Side Study Guide

The Reverse Side Summary & Study Guide Description

The Reverse Side Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on The Reverse Side by Stephen Dunn.

Stephen Dunn's poem "The Reverse Side" appears in his collection Different Hours (2000). Before Different Hours won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize, Dunn was already an established poet with ten books of poetry to his credit and numerous publications in prestigious periodicals. The Pulitzer brought his work to the attention of the general public, however, broadening his readership. "Dunn doesn't belong to a particular school of poets," writes Kevin C. Shelly in the magazine Philadelphia, "but the influences of William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost are sometimes evident in his work."

"The Reverse Side" is a short philosophical meditation that explores the conflict between so-called fundamentalist and open-minded attitudes of living and is ultimately critical of those who choose moral certainty over tolerance of uncertainty. The poem suggests that a worthwhile way to live is to attempt to be as comfortable as possible with moral ambiguity. It is perhaps easiest to understand the poem when it is read in the context of the whole book, Different Hours, in which many other poems attempt to discern whether there are essential organizing principles in disorderly human lives.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 185 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Reverse Side Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
The Reverse Side from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.