Minimalist Poetry Analysis

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Cameron McDonald
Mr. Ray
Critical Reading, Analytical Writing
27 April 2012
Complete Minimal Poems by Aram Saroyan
Aram Saroyan, a leading minimalist poet in the 1960s, shows many aspects of the specific use of language of poetry in his complete collection. Poetry is exactly the right words put in exactly the right order, and Saroyan proves that he has mastered this concept. Aram Saroyan exhibits an exemplary use of the language to express thoughts in few, sometimes single, words, but his works tend to have a personal touch that excludes the reader from complete poetic enjoyment. Saroyan manipulates words and language to fit his minimalist needs, and tends to completely throw out orthodox use of grammar and spelling while turning common colloquialisms on their heads. His misuse of grammar demonstrates that thoughts do not require entire sentences, or even coherent phrases, to completely express a thought. In one work he states the three words “sky/every/day,” which, without verbs, punctuation, or even capitalization, expresses an entire thought: inevitability, or constancy, depending on positive or negative inferences made by the reader (19). One of Saroyan’s most famous poems is one word: “lighght” (31). This single word, not even spelled correctly, completely illustrates the concept of silent letters, the overlooking of sounds. The “gh” in the correctly spelled word “light” is not pronounced, and though we recognize it exists, we do not verbally acknowledge it, giving the impression that we do not appreciate it, that it is taken for granted. This impression can be compared to how we actually appreciate light. We know subconsciously that it is there, but do not fully register its presence. Saroyan sees this, and by adding another silent part to the word, he has finally made us appreciate both the silent portion of the word “light” and the silence of its physical existence. Although Saroyan has cannibalized the English language and...
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