A Wide Collection Of Well Known Poems By William Meredith Essay

1310 Words Oct 18th, 2015 6 Pages
William Meredith wrote a wide collection of well-known poems throughout his life. Meredith was highly praised for his work and was given the title Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. A great deal of his time was spent in the US Navy as a pilot where he was inspired to write consistently. And then came the time right before he wrote the poem The Illiterate. Meredith suffered a stroke in 1983 which left him incapable of expressing his thoughts, a crucial aspect that all poets possess. Expressive aphasia is what he was diagnosed with post-stroke, which includes side effects such as; speaking in short, grammatically incorrect sentences, loss of fine motor skills, and loss of the ability to write and read at a higher level of thinking.
Keeping this information in mind when reading through the poem, The Illiterate, is talking about someone who has received the first letter in his life, and cannot read the contents of the letter due to the fact that he is an illiterate (someone who does not have the ability to read or write). When you read the poem the first time, it appears to be clear that the poet is talking about someone else, maybe even a fictitious character for the purpose of the poem. However, when you conduct a little background research on the poet himself, you will find that he suffered from expressive aphasia post-stroke. When connecting the symptoms and side effects of expressive aphasia with the words of the poem, you may conclude that Meredith had written…

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