Analysis Of Edward Hirsch 's Poetry And Five Books Of Prose Essay

Analysis Of Edward Hirsch 's Poetry And Five Books Of Prose Essay

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Edward Hirsch has published eight books of poetry and five books of prose. In the book Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch, he structures the elegy starting with death, he then remembers all the events form Gabriel’s life then back to death. Edward Hirsch also uses a three line, ten stanza form on each page, without any punctuation at all. This is to signify that the starting and stopping of punctuation cannot help with the pain of outliving your child. Hirsch once said in the New York Times that “the closer he came to the end of his memories, while writing the dossier, the more he felt that he was losing his grasp of his son.” (http://www.nytimes.com). He wanted to make something meaningful and that meant that he would have to write about more than just Gabriel’s life he would have to write about the loss of Gabriel.
Hirsch’s poem avoids rhyme or punctuation, Hirsch’s lines manage to portray Gabriel’s wild child energy; like a memory of a boy never sitting still, always moving. But the form, portrays a grieving father’s struggle at ordering the chaos that he is now being dealt. When he writes of “Time with its medieval chambers . . . jagged edges/ and blunt instruments,” he is talking about how he is writing the stanzas, lines, and words and how sometimes the stanzas are short and to the point just a like blunt instruments or weapons. Which being quick-tempered and resentful is an emotion that is common when a tragic loss occurs. Sometimes, the lines feel unwitty, loose, and more straight forward than other lines, such as “Grief broke down in phrases”, “And extrapolated lines/ From me without myself”. With other stanzas, they feel like they’re filled with more heart break than others so you can feel when Hirsch is getting very emo...


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...rsch uses his stanza structure to impact the loss of Gabriel which helps what Hirsch is trying to portray when he take us form death to life then back to death. The repeating number of stanzas probably represent the reoccurring memories or thoughts that is going through Hirsch’s mind. No punctuation found anywhere in the book; a very odd strategy but very effective. It really lets the reader’s choose the emotion from page to page. He lets us choose how to read the elegy instead of stopping and starting the lines for us. Even without the repetitive stopping and starting made by period and commons normally in poems, we all stop ourselves when we feel the emotion in the words changing form being happy, to being scared, then ultimately mourning in the end. This is possible by Edward Hirsch being completely honest with his emotions and converting the emotions into words.

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