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In this poem Durem’s speaker grants that he does not write poetry that is intellectual and replete with poetic ornament such as imagery, but rather he believes in poetic commitment—the poet who expresses outrage and advocates change. The “you” of these lines is a group of conventional poets and critics who, in the speaker’s eyes, write poetry—and also write criticism of it—as though poetry should be removed from life, with no political purpose. In addition, the speaker’s words denigrate imagery that in his eyes creates obscurity rather than meaning. The fact is, however, that the speaker does indeed express himself through imagery, such as the woman of line 9 and the soldier of lines 13-15.
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