Tony Hoagland's Special Problems In Vocabulary

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Tony Hoagland was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1953. Tony, his sister, and his twin brother, who died in high school on a drug overdose, also grew up on several army bases in Hawaii, Alabama, Ethiopia, and Texas. The different places and lifestyles he observed gave him a cultural perspective that reflects in his poetry. He found poetry as a young and troubled adolescent because it was deeply mysterious and puzzling, which he found pleasing because, to him, it seemed like trying to solve the problems of human nature and staying alive, which related to him at the time. As his adolescent problems faded, he could not keep a relationship, an education, or a job, so he dove further into the poetic world because it was the only thing to stay constant in his life. Hoagland’s parents did not talk to their parents, he did not practice any faith, which brings no knowledge of ceremony, no inherited knowledge, no family stories, and no instruction, so as a result,“[poems] became a culture for [him], a culture…show more content…
Failure to maintain a friendship is displayed through “friendship, stretched over time, grows thin, then one day snaps with a popping sound” (Poetry Foundation 3-4). The friendship is strained and suddenly ruptures, becoming irreparable. This reflects his inability to “sustain relationships”(Poets 1). Reinstating his relationship failure, Hoagland writes “breaking a thing while trying to get it open --a marriage, for example”(Poetry Foundation 6-8). Just as Hoagland is attempting to commit to a relationship, the marriage splits. Later, Hoagland says, “There is no expression, in English, at least, for avoiding the sight of your own body in the mirror”, presenting a new aspect of failure, personal failure (Poetry Foundation 13-15). The person fails to attain their own standards, similar to Hoagland’s poetry being “linguistically self-conscious” (Poets

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