Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Maxine Kumin Poetry Analysis

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Maxine Kumin definitely has a very shocking way of portraying her poetry. It can easily be seen that she has a deep love for nature and animals. However, it goes to a much further distance than your average person. In the poem “Morning Swim” and “To Swim, to Believe” she describes swimming, as obviously mentioned in the title. In “Morning Swim” she describes becoming one with the body of water as she travels through it. In “To Swim, to Believe” she describes Jesus walking on the water, as described in the Bible. She states about how Peter had doubt about what Jesus told him to do, and thus as a result fell into the water.

This poem demonstrates the importance of believing. “Heaven as Anus” is a very strong poem. It describes the multiple horrors and atrocities that animals face while they are facing testing and experiments. The poem really stabs at you and expresses its opinion with feeling. For example, “The whitewall labs fill up with the feces of fear. ” (Kumin) “Requiem on I-89” describes the carcasses of animals being devoured on the road. She shirks in no details at all. The putrid, split carcasses strewn across the road are explained in vivid detail. For example, “lies on its side, bust open. ” (Kumin) Kumin uses very interesting rhyme schemes.

In “Morning Swim” it is pretty straightforward. Every line rhymes with the one following it. In “Heaven as Anus” I can really only see the first and third lines rhyming, as well as the last two lines rhyming. In “Requiem on I-89” I can see that no consecutive lines rhyme with each other. Donald Justice does a very good job of using imagery to portray events in his poems. In “First Death” he describes the death and wake of his grandmother. One quote that really affected me was “Powder mixed with a drying paste” as I remember the makeup that my late great-grandmother wore. In “Absences” he describes the emptiness of a snow-stricken day.

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This poem is rather gloomy in tone, as it describes his memories of playing a childhood piano. I really found that “Men at Forty” was a rather interesting, if somewhat humorous, poem. In it, he is describes how middle-aged men reminisce about certain things. For example, remembering teaching their sons how to tie their shoes. “The face of the boy as he practices tying. ” He says “There are more fathers than sons themselves now,” alluding to the fact that at this point in the men’s lives (at least in this time period) their children are growing old enough to the point where they are beginning to move out.

Donald Justice rhymes his poem “First Death” in a very simple matter. Every line rhymes with the subsequent line following it. This goes on for all of the forty-eight lines that it contains. I could honestly find no evidence of rhyme in his poem “Children Walking Home From School Through Good Neighborhood. ” The same is the case of “Absences. ” This reinforces the concept, that comes from previous readings as well, that rhyme is not needed at all to create great works of poetry.

Maxine Kumin Poetry Analysis essay

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