His Speed and Strength Essay

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Poquette has a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. In the following essay, Poquette discusses Ostriker's poem in relation to its historical context and events in the poet's own life.

On the surface, it appears that Ostriker's poem, "His Speed and Strength," is primarily about the differences between men and women. Ostriker draws on the traditional stereotypes of men and women, emphasizing male aggression and female passivity. There is, however, a darker side to this poem, which starts with the title itself. Although the poem does contrast men and women, or rather, a mother and son, it is really a poem about the cultural factors that determine how male "speed and strength" are used in American society, namely for military purposes. One can understand this better by examining the historical and autobiographical contexts within which Ostriker wrote the poem.

The poem was first published...

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This section contains 1,497 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the His Speed and Strength Study Guide
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His Speed and Strength from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.