The Life of Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser

The life of poetry is not an easy book to examine. It is not commonsensical or analytical. Exploring the books content, the author seems to have mixed reaction towards his subjects. This can be evidenced by the fact that, the author did not provide any solid explanation of her allusions and references. However, it is paramount to understand that, the poem illustrates an essence of insight including the passages of eloquence and authority, which evokes the deep examination of the real meaning of the poem. Looking at the typical approach by which Rukeyser has presented her approach, she offers Melville and Whitman as the principal poets of outrage and possibility.

Defining her approach, it is ironical to aver that, she was unjust in regard to the way she looked at Whitman.  It should be noted that, poets presents their arguments from the heart, building from a complexity of emotions, it is here that chords of sorrowful, lonely or passionate rhymes are crafted. Thus, she presents Whitman as a poet of possibility, this description defines Whitman to the very character of his works, it should be noted that, Whitman more than often is commonly depicted as a poet who struggled with sexuality in his poets, and as a matter of fact he managed to create a cinematic attitude in regard to his compositions.

Therefore, Rukeyser,as an authority in poetry had a very broad concept in regard to the taste, style as well as the fashion of poetry, hence, she candidly defined Whitman as such-a poet of possibility. This is linked to the fact that, Whitman explored the diverse concepts poetry in such a ruthless attributes which can be said to have played a pivotal role in defining the American culture, both as people and a country.

Examining the scope of Whitman poetry, which revolves around a myriad of thought provoking views, it can be said that, the description fits him in total. Perhaps, Rukeyser was prompted by the fact that, Whitmans first major work Leaves of Grass presented almost an autonomous poetry which can be defined as almost pure American epic. Another factor that could provide a significant weight as to why Whitman fits into Rukeysers description is that, they shared almost similar traits. For instance, both had political interests, this can be linked to the fact that, just like Whitman, Rukeyser had also explored the broad concept of politics in his work immensely. In regard to such analysis, Whitman compactly falls under the category of poets of possibility.

He viewed America with a simple but unique political analysis. Despite the fact that, he was involved in politics, his poetry commonly explored such aspects as egalitarian concepts and this candidly helped in that he attacked the extension of slavery. Therefore, may I argue that, Whitmans engagement in poetry reflected his personality and it is through poetry that he strongly presented his case against the evils committed against humanity. Thus, being a poet of possibility can be said to be a concept that touched individuals such as Whitman who engaged the American society through their writings.

Be it in the usage of metaphors, symbolism, imagery or any other artistic tools, Whitman qualified to be defined as a man who belonged to the class of poets of possibility due to his contribution in the Americas poetry landscape. Therefore, am convinced that, despite his turbulent life, he had a profound engagement with the society.  His strong convictions towards the broader society reflected his personality in his works.

Hence, he employed the use of his poetry to counter the elitist attitudes, while engaging the Americans to confront the fears of feelings. Nevertheless, Whitman pioneered the rudimental aspects employed in defining the centrality of poetry in American way of life. Being a poet is sometimes challenging, this can be linked to the fact that, poetry basically involves diverse matters which in principal can be said to be innate and emotional. Therefore, exploring such factors as poets of outrage and possibilities, sometimes it can be tricky. At a times like this, too, it could be challenging for any given artist to exude both of these characteristics-outrage and possibilities. Though, there are those who have managed to combine both beyond individual consciousness to overcome the barricades which arise due to the diverse idealisms both characters exhibits. Therefore, each concept presents a unique approach to violence, love, and injustices among others.

Thus for an artist to separate or reconcile with the two characteristics, sometimes it is difficult to dwell on both, this is due to the fact that, personal desires and freedoms are controlled by innate forces that equally influences how a poet or an artist develops a relationship with his or subjects. Therefore, those who manage to combine these traits are significantly influenced towards leaning one side offered by these characteristics. It is crucial to state that, outrage or possibilities may invoke emotional experiences.

Therefore, it is paramount to realize that in poetry an individual presents what is in his heart, and this phenomenon is not affected by race, religion, sex or social status. This dimension is predominantly reflected by Whitman who illustrated unmatched orientation towards the elements of possibility due to his passion for humanity.  Consequently, a poet may in one way or the other attempt to combine these traits, though it is possible, but the greatest dilemma could be the mechanism of applying them both in ones love, the reason being you cannot hate and love at the same time.

Therefore, reconciling these traits or characteristics could be outrageous. Exploring the common basics of poetry, it is crucial to aver that, poetry comes as an action, it is an action that develops deep into ones heart.hence,as it simmers, the unspoken realities of life are exposed, while compelling symbolism,imagery,irony and other great aspects of poetry are brought forth. This signifies that, reconciling the two unique characteristics could deny the poet a room to extol his thoughts independently. Drawing a line from Rukeyser views that Whitman falls under the category of poets of possibility, it crucial to note that, Whitman was more engaged by his emotions as well as observations, thus, judging from such a situation it becomes apparent that an artist can have issues when attempting to reconcile these two traits of being both poet of outrage and poet of possibilities at the same time.

This is linked to the fact that, these characteristics presents unique features in terms of content, history as well as the poets form. Examining the minute attributes of poetry, it is impossible to combine the said characteristics, reconciling them word definitely create distortion given that a poet must be created to deliver a subtle message to the audience hence, what a poet reflects must be what he or she is attempting to deliver to the audience.

Therefore, it is instrumental to argue that, employing a sole characteristic helps the poet to present uncompromised analysis of his thoughts articulately. It has been observed overtime that, poets do employ the use of various emotions to express their thoughts this can be done through the use of varied techniques which includes similes, metaphors as well as onomatopoeia. Hence the emphasis of using the distinct aesthetics of language together with assorted techniques helps the poet to craft his work. Thus, it becomes a difficult task to reconcile the two characteristics due to the unique needs of each character.

Therefore, may I argue that, the reason(s) why a poet may opt to follow specific characteristics can be said to be influenced by the fact that, such issues as sound, diction, tone and connotation would greatly influence the entire attitude of the poem. Thus it would be paramount to be anchored within the perimeters of his conviction as dictated by the given characteristics. Exploring diverse aspects of poetry such as figuration, plot as well as the theme, it would be suicidal to attempt to reconcile the characteristics, each individual poet has a personal taste of words, concepts as well as themes, thus, it would be significant to understand that, poetry is an issue of the heart, it would be paramount to just master and learn how to express ones thought either under outrage or possibilities distinction.

As Rukeyser had initially indicated, both these streams provides diverse aspects of setting, plot, point of view and characterization, bringing them together would deny any given poem the density and the diversity of taste and controversy where needed. The best way forward would be to construct ones poem around the individuals taste, consider that, what one belief in, would be instrumental in creating an authoritative poem. Hence, those who deliver their message through the platitude of negative platform would be greatly challenged to navigate through the unknown vastness of positive poetry.


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