Carolyn Kizer Writing Styles in To an Unknown Poet

Carolyn Kizer
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Irony

At its most basic level, irony is saying one thing while meaning another. Kizer uses a persona, her speaker, who is condescending, though seemingly well-intentioned, to criticize the attitude of writers who consider themselves superior to others. By listing what she has done, or would do, to help the poet, who obviously is not well off, the speaker attempts to assuage her guilt and prove that she is a moral person. Readers, however, can see through her rationalizations and in the end despise the speaker while feeling sympathetic for the unknown poet.

Details

Details are the small things, the particulars that make up a whole. Kizer uses details to characterize the speaker and the unknown poet, showing readers their emotional lives by depicting their surroundings. Kizer provides details of what is in the speaker's house to illustrate her rarefied tastes, and she provides details of the unknown poet's...

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This section contains 253 words
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Poetry for Students
To an Unknown Poet from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.