Galway Kinnell Writing Styles in Saint Francis and the Sow

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This poem is an example of the free verse style that characterizes much American poetry from the mid-fifties to the present. In free verse, there is no dependence on formal patterns of meter or rhyme for the poem's structure. Instead, the poem's content and emotional textures often determine line length and line breaks, the interior patterns of sounds, and the texture of images. Like many poets of his generation, Galway Kinnell wrote at first in "strict" forms. But long before he composed "Saint Francis and the Sow," his work had taken on the "old" free verse style that has its roots in the poetics of Walt Whitman, the "grandfather" of American free verse. In discussing his own style with Wayne Dodd and Stanley Plumly, Kinnell observes that Whitman "seeks in the music of his verse what he calls the 'perfect rectitude and insouciance of the movements of animals,'...

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This section contains 543 words
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Buy the Saint Francis and the Sow Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Saint Francis and the Sow from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.