Introduction & Overview of A Thirst Against by Linda Gregg

Linda Gregg
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A Thirst Against Summary & Study Guide Description

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In her poem "A Thirst Against," Linda Gregg presents modern readers with an age-old philosophical dilemma: human beings strive to find order and logic in the world around them, but at the same time find life to be empty without the intuitive or emotional experiences that defy logic. To illustrate this logic-defying thirst, she draws examples from nature, and also includes an extended comparison to the characters in William Shakespeare's drama Hamlet. While Shakespeare's characters had trouble finding the right balance between intellect and emotion, Gregg's poem ends by stating a certainty that God exists in the most unlikely places, such as on a frozen, abandoned city street in the middle of winter. The dichotomy between logic and emotion is therefore appreciated as a good thing in this poem, and the thirst against logic is seen as being just as important as the hunger for it.

Gregg is considered an original, noteworthy modern American poet. "A Thirst Against" is characteristic of her work in its concern with ancient questions and its desire to relate them to familiar contemporary situations. The poem can be found in Gregg's 1999 collection Things and Flesh.

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Poetry for Students
A Thirst Against from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.