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Introduction & Overview of To an Unknown Poet by Carolyn Kizer

Carolyn Kizer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of To an Unknown Poet.
This section contains 232 words
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To an Unknown Poet Summary & Study Guide Description

To an Unknown Poet Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on To an Unknown Poet by Carolyn Kizer.

Introduction

"To an Unknown Poet," was first published in Michigan Quarterly Review and subsequently appeared in Carolyn Kizer's 1986 collection, The Nearness of You. It is included in a section of poems called "Friends," which contains numerous poems about, and dedicated to, other poets. In the poem, Kizer, a much decorated and Pulitzer- Prize winning poet, ironically compares the successful life of a much-decorated poet with the life of an unsuccessful and struggling poet. Kizer wrote the poem shortly after winning the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Yin: New Poems. In simple, straightforward language, the speaker addresses a poor poet who comes to visit her, making excuses for why she does not have time for him, and then later telling him about an award she is about to receive. Her response addresses issues including the place of poetry in American society, the role of the poet, and the nature of literary fame. Kizer's poem appeared at a time when more poetry is produced and published—in print, on the web, etc.—and more poetry readings are given than perhaps at any other time in American history. It also comes at a time when, even though an increasing number of people hunger for literary recognition, fewer and fewer people read poetry or even attend poetry readings. The gulf between "known" poets and "unknown" poets widens daily, but even those known are known by only a few.

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This section contains 232 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our To an Unknown Poet Study Guide
Copyrights
To an Unknown Poet 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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