Analysis Of Michael Mclaughlin 's ' The Corners Of The Mouth ' Essay

Analysis Of Michael Mclaughlin 's ' The Corners Of The Mouth ' Essay

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On May 15th, 2016 I attended the “Corners of the Mouth” poetry reading featuring Michael McLaughlin. This paper describes my experience at this reading and analyzes the styles and characteristics of the poetry displayed here. The overall setting of the reading was very welcoming and relaxed as I entered the small room towards the back of Linnea’s coffee shop. There was artwork all over the walls and fold up chairs facing a small stage along the back wall. As I chose a seat and sat down, I began to notice all of the different people within the room. The couple next to me were older and throughout the reading were passing notes back and forth. Later, I noticed they were writing lines of poetry to each other. Many of the attendees were very familiar with the atmosphere and greeted friends as they entered the reading, I could tell that this was a very close-knit group.

Michael McLaughlin went first after a brief introduction from the gentleman hosting the reading. He told us of his newly published book that was available for purchase titled ‘Countless Cinemas’. He read several poems from this book and I began to notice the general style he conveys. Many of his poem’s themes emerge from past experiences and memories in his life. Michael pulls from these emotions and uses them as a backbone in his writing. He informed the group that he resides on the central coast, which influences his poetry. I really noticed it during one of his pieces where he talks about commuting from San Luis to the Bay Area and the sights you see driving up and down Highway 1. A more specific theme emerged as he mentioned the death of his mother and brother in law. This experience seems to be where he gets most of his underlying emotion for his work. This becam...


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...y attention with a reference to Whitman. Looking back, I can see the similarities between her and Whitman rather clearly. Both write with similar form, using free verse and limited structure. They both also use true, raw emotions to motivate their writing. They also stand up for groups that people tend to not talk about, and can be under represented. “Mona Lisa” shows the pain of a mother losing her child to a miscarriage and Whitman speaks for the overworked people of his time.

Overall, the reading was an interesting experience for me. I have never been to anything like it before and it was eye-opening to see the number of locals who are thriving to be poets. The skill displayed by every speaker that night was higher than I expected. Many followed similar themes as the poets we study in Modern Poetry. It was an enjoyable night and I hope to attend another one soon.

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