To an Unknown Poet Summary & Study Guide

Carolyn Kizer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 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 553 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stanza 1

In the first stanza of "To an Unknown Poet," the speaker plays on the word "unknown." Traditionally, it has meant that the identity of the person is not known, as in, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Kizer, however, is using it to mean that the poet does not have a reputation—that he is one of the many millions of poets who write but receive little or no public recognition for their writing. The speaker characterizes the poet through her description of his clothes and his impolite behavior (he comes "unannounced"). She makes excuses for why she cannot entertain him, which are all lies.

The speaker characterizes herself through her description of the things she has in her house, the "bibelots and objects of art," precious ornaments and such. The last line of the stanza can be read two ways. "Breakage" can literally mean that she...

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This section contains 553 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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.