Monday, March 18, 2019

Analysis of Donahues Sister from Thom Gunn’s The Passages of Joy Essay

Thom Gunn, an English poet who has spent most of his life living in the United States, is a member of what has come to be called the Movement. Members of the Movement rejected what seemed to them the ro compositiontic excesses of the New Apocalypse (whose most prominent member was Dylan Thomas), and. . .were equally dissatisfied with the modernist revolution led by Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot (Ellmann and OClair 1335). Gunn has criticized modernists for strengthening the images in their poetry while...banishing the concepts (Qtd. in Ellmann and OClair 1335). Members of the Movement sought greater concreteness and a less high-flown enunciation for poetry (Ellmann and OClair 1335). Thom Gunn is known for writing poems that argon non only(prenominal) concrete, and that can also be thought of as quite risky. Gunn has never been a cautious poet (Ellmann and OClair 1335), instead choosing to deal with subjects that are very real, and in some cases very controversial. Gunn confronts the issue of alcoholism and its effects, not only on the alcoholics, but also on those who care approximately them, in his poem Donahues Sister, which was published in 1982 as take up of a book of poems entitled The Passages of Joy. Donahues Sister begins with the two characters, a man and a woman (presumably Donahue and his sister), encountering each other at the enquiry of the stairs. The first two lines read, She comes level with him at / the head of the stairs, and indicate a sense of competition and tension between the two people. Immediately, it is apparent that thither is a power struggle going on between the man and the woman. At this point, the reader has not been told the source of the competition between the characters, but there is a sense ... ...poetry is not intellectual... rather, it explores concrete reality in a sensuous manner (Parini 138). Gunn paints a colorful and all-too-believable picture of the effects of alcoholism. He does not attempt to pass judgment , though. He does not denounce the alcoholic, or glorify the man who tries to help her. He simply shows us an honest depiction of alcoholism, and allows us as readers to make our own moralistic judgments. Works Cited Ellmann, Richard and Robert OClair, eds. The Norton Anthology of Modern poem. 2nd ed. New York W.W. Norton, 1988. Giles, Paul. Landscapes of repetition the self-parodic constitution of Thom Gunns later poetry. Critical Quarterly 29.2 (1987) 85-99. Parini, Jay. Rule and Energy The Poetry of Thom Gunn. The Massachusetts Review 23 (1982) 134-151. Sanborn, Patricia F. Existentialism. New York Pegasus, 1968.

No comments:

Post a Comment