Introduction & Overview of Words for Departure

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Words for Departure.
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Words for Departure Summary & Study Guide Description

Words for Departure Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on Words for Departure by Louise Bogan.

Louise Bogan's poem "Words for Departure" was published in her first book of poetry, Body of This Death (1923). In 1922, Bogan had spent six months in Vienna, immersing herself in her work and studying European poetry. When she returned from this period of study, she found a publisher, Robert M. McBride & Company of New York City and within months had published her first compilation of poems. The twenty-seven poems in this first collection of work often focus on romantic relationships and on sexual betrayal. This is true of "Words for Departure," as well, which, while offering advice for a departing lover, also reveals the depth of pain suffered at a lover's betrayal.

The poems in this first book reveal Bogan's study of classical lyrical poetry, with its emphasis on traditional themes. The author uses the classical lyrical motifs of love, time, nature, and rebirth in "Words for Departure" to suggest that all four of these themes are permanently interwoven when love is lost. Bogan studied the poetry of William Butler Yeats and was influenced by modern poetry, but she also adopted the ideas of English Renaissance poets such as John Donne, including some of the metaphysical poet's traditions.

"Words for Departure" was written only a few years after Bogan's husband died but, because the marriage was not a happy one, it is difficult to identify his death as a source for this poem. While Bogan used her poetry to tell stories, the narrative is never obvious and the source of the image not easily defined. Instead the reader must work at deciphering the meaning.

Many of the poems from Body of This Death were reprinted in Bogan's later books, though this is not true for "Words for Departure," which is contained only in this first collection. Body of This Death has been out of print for many years and as of 2004 was difficult to find; however, "Words for Departure" can be found online at some poetry Websites.

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This section contains 328 words
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Words for Departure from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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