Essay on Maxine Kumin

Essay on Maxine Kumin

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Maxine Kumin is considered one of the best Jewish American poets of her time. She has won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her work in Up Country. She has been compared to Anne Sexton, who was a fellow American confessionalist poet. Confessionalist poets tend to focus their poetry on personal matters that took place in their lives. For example, Kumin discusses the inner lives of her characters in her personal poems. She is considered a naturalist feminist because she gives her utmost importance to ecological things, such as plants, animals, the overall environment surrounding her. Kumin "asserts that her connection with animals is essential to her work as a poet, and later implies that through her association with them she has discovered a creatural self that is deeper and better than the human self" (Lyman, 23). To some she is not only ecological, but and ecological feminist. Unlike other confessionalist poets who wrote mainly about despair and depression, Kumin focuses her writing on happier things, such as family life, farming, subjects of life and nature, and loss. Her first published writings included Connecting the Dots, Nurture, Looking for Luck, Up Country: Poems of New England, The Long Approach, and House, Bridge, and Fountain Gate. She has been recognized for her tremendous work and the attention that she drew from women in the American society. Critics have even compared her work to Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost. Kumin became an important figure in the feminist literary society.
She was born and raised in Philadelphia to Jewish parents. She grew up on a farm and was always surrounded by animals, which is reflected in her poetry. Kumin's "poetry is political and...


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...olid, sacred place where the rituals of life, love, and death are performed purely" (St. Andrews, 623). Her poetry showed that she was extremely passionate about the things she loved in life, such as her family and her farm. Even though she had a minor accident while riding a horse, she continues to write about how wonderful these animals are and how much they mean to her. She went through a really hard time when Anne Sexton died because she was the one who had encouraged her to write. Kumin has said that she will continue to write until she dies. Critics enjoyed her writings because they were straightforward and had a nice rhythm to them. Many considered her a naturalist feminist because she talked mainly about the nature and its surroundings. She has marked a place in the minds and hearts of the American literary world forever.

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