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And What If I Spoke of Despair Essay | Critical Essay #2

Ellen Bass
This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of And What If I Spoke of Despair.
This section contains 1,771 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #2

Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth-century literature. In this essay, Aubrey discusses the poet's protest against genetic engineering.

Bass's "And What If I Spoke of Despair" is a poem of passive protest. The poet sets appreciation of nature and her memories of childhood innocence against the ugly fact of environmental degradation caused by human activities. The despair the speaker feels is because she apparently sees no way of preventing or reversing the threat to the human environment. Instead of pursuing action to remedy the situation, the speaker concludes by turning her mind in on itself, examining the feeling of despair and musing over what attitude to adopt to it.

The poem mentions two man-made disruptions of the beauty of nature that the poet sees in phenomena, such as rain gathered on a fallen oak leaf or a full moon in...

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This section contains 1,771 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our And What If I Spoke of Despair Study Guide
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And What If I Spoke of Despair from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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