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.

Address

Throughout the poem, the speaker addresses the unknown poet in a conversational tone, calling him "you." Details of the poet's visit to the speaker's house aside, the unknown poet in this poem is representative of unknown poets everywhere. In this way, the address of the poem is an apostrophe. An apostrophe is a figure of...

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This section contains 253 words
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Buy the To an Unknown Poet Study Guide
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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.