A Sonnet, A Sonnet And Let Things Alone And Hurt

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In 1972 Relationships was published and Jennings chose only four poems to be printed in her Collected Poems: “Friendship “, “A Sonnet”, “Let things Alone and Hurt”. Above all she reflected on childhood, religion and death. Her ability to combine concrete detail and abstract thought remained in this collection as acute as ever. According to Levy Relationships deals with the aftermath of nervous breakdown and “with the meditations and resolves after the death of a close friend” (Levy 68). “Fear,” “Hurt,” “Kinds of Tears,” and “Tears” are examples of poems which suggest the sense of self pitying sentimentality which marks so many of the deleted poems. Jennings is so obsessed with visions of despair, and with her need to give expression to sad…show more content…
She has preserved “Let Things Alone,” and “A Sonnet,” two admirable poems which express intense personal emotion, while maintain the admired ideal of objectivity. Both poems assimilate and control the sense of vulnerability and the suffering that accompanies it, and they take as their ostensible subject the attitude towards language which enables them to do so. “You have to learn it all over again,/ The words, the sounds, almost the whole language ,” the speaker urges, explaining that in order to define ourselves we must look for origins using “words” which are “strict” and “new”. The knowledge acquired through suffering contributes to an awareness of human condition if it is communicated effectively, without the interference of cumulative associations which impede the possibility of fresh perception. Jennings’s poetic decline continued in Relationships, which Alsdair Maclean labeled as “Catastrophic”. He blames the decrement on the use of Emily Dickenson for a poetic model. Although the resemblance of Jennings’s verse to Dickenson has been approvingly noted by John Thompson in his review of A Sense of the World, Maclean complains that: “for Emily Dickenson’s apparent simplicity, however…show more content…
But Jennings is concerned here with the relationship between language and ideas. She cannot find valid relationship between experience and expression in her world of poetry. Her confession has similarity with the views expressed by women poets in America regarding the inadequacy of language to express the inadequacy of language as women. Adrienne Rich has talked about “The Dream of a Common Language” in her latest book of poems. Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Marge Piercy, Louise Bogan have all touched on the problem they have come across , as women poets, in using the language to suit their sensibilities as women. Denise Levertov in a poem similar to Jennings’, says: “Relearn the alphabet/Relearn the world, the world/Understood anew only in doing, under stood only as looked-up-into out of the earth/the heart an eye looking/the heart a root/planted in earth/transaction is not/under the will’s

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