Thursday, September 18, 2014

MOOC ModPo Poem of the Day: "Poet's Work" by Lorine Niedecker

The Songs of Eretz MOOC ModPo Poem of the Day for September 18, 2014 is "Poet's Work" by Lorine Niedecker (1903 - 1970) (pictured).  A link to the poem may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/poets-work.  A brief biography and references may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lorine-niedecker.

"Poet's Work" contains twenty-one words including the title.  It is arranged in three tercets of free verse.  At first blush, except for an assonance between the words at the ends of the second and third lines of the second stanza, and the neologism "condensery" in the final stanza, there are no obvious poetic devices used.  In fact, the lack of poetic devices may be considered to be a poetic device in and of itself, and the poem an example of the "condensed" style for which Niedecker was known.  However, Niedecker did use irony here, even humor, to convey her message and story:   a poet, no matter how obscure and isolated, is at least not subject to being laid off.

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