Critical approaches about Galway Kinnells poem

Essay I: Poetry

Approach the poem bellow from one of the critical strategies I listed down.
The essay will be an explication, which means in its Latin form, a?to unfold; to expand; to display; to disentangle.a? In other words, use one of the critical approaches to examine, explain, and make understandablea both to yourself and the reader of your essaya how the chosen poem works and what the poet is trying to say. Look for something unusual; try to find out something about the poem that you did not immediately know.
The essay must be typed, double-spaced, have an introduction, body, and summary, and follow MLA guidelines. You do not need a works cited page if the only source used is your textbook. The essay should be at least 800 words in length.

Critical Approaches Summary
English 2030 a

Feminist (gender): The feminist critic is concerned with the way women are portrayed in literature, or how issues related to women are treated or ignored. This criticism often focuses on the writer and how the artist renders female characters or deals with gender questions. For example: is there a curious lack of female characters in a particular story; why? Are the female characters in the story presented in an unfavorable manner; why? Or, what is the poet saying about women in general and specifically; how does the poet use gender as a tool to make a point or examine a situation?

Biographical: The biographical critic works to establish a real link between the writeras life and work. Certain stories and poems are very personal, and the biographical critic will try to find an episode in the writeras life that connects directly with the literature.

Reader Response: This is the easiest critical approach because the student can include so much of himself or herself in the essay. How did you respond to the literature? What about the story or poem spoke so clearly to you? Have you been in a similar situation? Use your personal story as a vehicle to discuss the literature. How did the literary work contrast or compare with your experience? The reader response essay clarifies the literary work because the student has something to add, perhaps even creating opportunities to agree or disagree with the writer.

Historical: Like biographical criticism, the historical approach seeks to link actual occurrences with the literature. This approach works particularly well with stories and poems that are obviously based in fact. The historical critic examines what the writer has to say about history, the accuracy of the writeras commentary or description, and if the writer has something new to add to the historical account, either actual or emotional.

Marxist: Perhaps one of the most difficult approaches, the Marxist critic is concerned with the impact of society on individuals. This issue often finds its way into literature, with subject matter related to societal victims. The Marxist critic might find that a writer does a good job relating how an individual or group has been somehow shaped by societal pressures, or may find that the writer has failed to present a viable argument about the role of human beings in society.

Psychological: Closely related to Marxist criticism, the psychological critic examines how a characteras mental health has been affected by outside sources. In the case of poetry, is the speaker of the poem (not necessarily the poet) suffering psychological woes because of a situation or force beyond his or her control? Oftentimes, the psychological critic may look for obvious changes in a character or poemas speaker and then assess what caused those changes to occur.

Cultural: The cultural critic is concerned primarily with specific groups that are delineated by racial and/or ethnic boundaries, and how those dividers are expressed or examined in literary works. This type of approach may focus on the writer (in terms of how well the racial/ethnic boundaries are defined and the resulting effect) or the literature (how racial/ethnic issues are addressed by a particular piece of literature).




Here is the poem I chose:




After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
BY GALWAY KINNELL



For I can snore like a bullhorn
or play loud music
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
and Fergus will only sink deeper
into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,
but let there be that heavy breathing
or a stifled come-cry anywhere in the house
and he will wrench himself awake
and make for it on the runa as now, we lie together,
after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodies,
familiar touch of the long-married,
and he appearsa in his baseball pajamas, it happens,
the neck opening so small he has to screw them ona
and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep,
his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.

In the half darkness we look at each other
and smile
and touch arms across this little, startlingly muscled bodya
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
this blessing love gives again into our arms.