Body of This Death. Poems.
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- Edition:First Edition
- Publication Date:1923
Bogan's early education at Boston Girls' Latin School gave a good foundation in the craft of writing, and in her early teens she wrote poems which preferred traditional English verse forms and metrics over the modernist styles which were gathering momentum in the early part of the twentieth century. She later wrote of the epiphany that led her to distinguish the poetic voice which once established, remained steadily unchanged throughout her writing life. Describing a visit to her mother in hospital and a chance sighting of a vase of marigolds, she said: "Suddenly I recognized something at once simple and full of the utmost richness of design and contrast that was mine."
By the time Bogan published her first collection, Body of This Death(1923) she was a widow struggling to bring up her daughter on a low income, and beginning to seek psychiatric help for the depression she was to battle for the rest of her life. Critic Brett C. Millier describes her poetry as being "made of meticulously distilled experience, distanced from the source by objective language", which enabled her to address these raw and difficult personal issues. He refers to poems in Body of This Death that "address specifically female concerns and point to Bogan's ambivalent relationship with the tradition of female lyric poets," adding: "Her poems are by no means dogmatically feminist; Bogan held a deep distrust for all ideological commitment. In fact, she has been castigated somewhat unfairly by contemporary feminists."
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