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The War Against the Trees Essay

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Semansky's most recent collection of poems, Blindsided, has been published by 26 Books of Portland, Oregon and nominated for an Oregon book award. In the following essay, Semansky examines Kunitz's "The War Against the Trees," paying close attention to the complexity of the poet's word choice.

"The War Against the Trees" appears in several popular classroom anthologies of poetry, yet little about the poem exists in the biographical literature about Kunitz, or in the substantial criticism focused on his Selected Poems (1958), the volume in which "The War Against the Trees" appears. Perhaps this is because the poem seems self-evident. Or, from a different angle, so fragile that vigorous investigation would "break" it. While these arguments are not without their virtues (as is true for many poems), "The War Against the Trees" is neither so simple that deeper analysis cannot reveal its complexity, nor so fragile it cannot be shaken...

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This section contains 1,636 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The War Against the Trees Study Guide
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The War Against the Trees from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.