May 7, 2013
The Writing Style of Rita Dove
Rita Dove was born August 28, 1952 in Akron, Ohio. The African American poet loved music and poetry from a young age. She was an outstanding student and was invited to the White House as a Presidential Scholar out of high school (The Biography Channel). Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995 and as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and, more recently, the 2003 Emily Couric Leadership Award, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award, the 1997 Sara Lee Frontrunner Award, and many more. Most recently, President Barack Obama presented her with the 2011 National Medal of Arts which made her the only poet with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts to her credit. (University of Virginia) Rita Dove has written many different kinds of poetry. She also wrote books, short stories plays and all types of literature. The specifics of her writing can be seen by analyzing three pieces of poetry that Rita Dove has written. The works In the Old Neighborhood, My Mother Enters the Work Force, and The Bistro Styx are great examples. Through these three works, Rita Dove’s use of home in her poetry, her use of figurative devices such as similes and metaphors, and Dove’s view on children coming of age in different ways will be explored and proven.
By looking at the poem “In the Old Neighborhood” a number of things can be inferred from the overall poem. Dove seems to go back in time to view her home as a child from a newly shifting and surreal location. The speakers in Dove’s poems are not usually at ease with their surroundings, and they tend to look upon scenes of home as seen through a distant and dispassionate eye. Dove’s home seems alien to her....