Ways to Live Essay

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Blevins teaches writing courses at Roanoke College. In this essay, Blevins suggests that in Stafford's poem, the poet uses extended metaphors to give advice on how people might live with the knowledge of impending death.

In "Education by Poetry," Robert Frost argues that "the height of all thinking . . . [is] the attempt to say matter in terms of spirit and spirit in terms of matter." What he means is that the ability to "say one thing in terms of another" is what thinking is. Frost is not the only poet to have made this observation. Pound's advice to go in fear of abstractions, William Carlos Williams's insistence that ideas can only be found in things, and T. S. Eliot's objective correlative are all metaphors for the idea that metaphors are indispensable to poetry (and all serious uses of language). Yet the modernists' interest in metaphor manifested itself primarily as...

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This section contains 1,716 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ways to Live Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ways to Live from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.