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To an Unknown Poet Essay | Critical Essay #3

Carolyn Kizer
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Critical Essay #3

In the following essay, Montague provides a brief introduction to Kizer as a passionately diverse, woman poet who uses her art to explore the tensions between genders and between love and loss.

Carolyn Kizer works in terms of the twinned tensions of life, those central paradoxes so directly felt by women. She poses the problem of the woman poet boldly in her remarkable "A Muse of Water":

We who must act as handmaidens
To our own goddess, turn too fast,
Trip on our hems to glimpse the muse
Gliding below her lake or sea,
Are left, long-staring after her
Narcissists by necessity...




Mother and muse, Kizer can write tenderly of her own mother, who taught her to love nature even at its most loathsome, "a whole, wild, lost, betrayed and secret life / Among its dens and burrows." Although she had a poem titled "Not Writing Poetry about Children...

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This section contains 496 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our To an Unknown Poet Study Guide
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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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