Rita Dove Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Rita Dove Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

In a period when much American poetry is condemned as being merely an exercise in solipsistic navel gazing, and when African American poetry more specifically seems to have lapsed into hibernation after the vigorous activity of the Black Arts movement, Rita Dove steps forth with a body of work that resoundingly answers such criticism. Hers is a poetry characterized by discipline and technical proficiency, surprising breadth of reference, a willingness to approach emotionally charged subjects with aesthetic objectivity, and a refusal to define herself only in terms of blackness. She combines a novelist’s eye for action and gesture with the lyric poet’s exalted sense of language. Dove’s distinguishing feature is her ability to...

(The entire section is 3868 words.)