The Boy Essay

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In the following essay, Augustine examines the themes running through the body of Hacker's work.

From the beginning of Marilyn Hacker's career her poems have established a unique counterpoint between classical rhyming forms—sestina, sonnet, villanelle—and blunt declarative sentences to display the deranged obsessiveness of contemporary minds. Her hard-edged language in the 1970s is darkly jewel-encrusted, redolent of a devastated inner world of difficult loving, tangled sexuality, and convoluted relationships. Semiprecious gems—onyx, amethyst, alexandrite—express the hardness, mystery, and richness of experience. Lured by the foreign and strange, Hacker invents "imaginary translations," playing with exotic locales and overblown emotions. Tours de force, these poems lead into her central concern, the elucidation of her own intense passions, whether sexual, moral, or political.

Love is the premier passion that runs as a continuing strand from the earlier to the later work. Because the poem sequence "Separations," from the...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 923 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Boy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Boy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.