Rosemary Sullivan: On "I Knew a Woman"

The poem is built on the scaffold of an elaborate syntax. About half of its lines depend on caesural pause so that the voice is continually halting in the lingering satisfaction of adulation. Each half line is elaborately balanced against its complement -"sighed," "sigh"; "moved," "moved"; "container," "contain." Each single line is an end-stopped unit, which swings into the next, usually by the association of some quality. The consequent feeling is of a continual, spontaneous elaboration of the lover's graces.

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Criticism Overview
Title Rosemary Sullivan: On "I Knew a Woman" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Rosemary Sullivan Criticism Target Theodore Roethke
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 22 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Theodore Roethke: The Garden Master
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