Maxine Kumin Essay

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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 …show more content…
Her love for animals and nature is everlasting and can be read in most of her poetry such as in The Long Marriage. Her inspiration to write came from her best friend Anne Sexton whom she met while she was attending classes for poetry. Her work in Up Country: Poems of New England talks about her observations on rural life. From the collection of Up Country, comes the story called Woodchucks. In this poem, Kumin uses extremely symbolic diction when talking about sensitive issues, such as war and killing. In Woodchucks, the gardener is annoyed with the woodchucks because they are eating and vandalizing the garden. He decides to put an end to this problem by purchasing cyanide gas to kill the woodchucks. This plan backfires and the woodchucks continue to destroy her plants. His frustration builds up and she finally decides to purchase a rifle to kill the woodchucks. In the first stanza, the reader can clearly see that the gardener is annoyed with the woodchucks because they are destroying her garden. In order to get rid of this problem, he attempts to eliminate them painlessly by using cyanide gas. He hopes that this will work, but her first attempt

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