How to Put Words in Someone’s Mouth: Teaching the Dramatic Monologue

Benjamin S. Grossberg | July 2013

Benjamin S. Grossberg


I love teaching the dramatic monologue, those poems in which the speaker is understood as a character distinct from the person of the poet. I love teaching the form because some of my favorite poems are monologues—and because it often occasions breakthroughs in student writing. The dramatic monologue form frees us from the constraints of the biographical—it forces that freedom—and in return requires us to evoke a new biography. Freed from the constraints of the biographical, students can find great resource in their imaginations. And with undergraduate writers, especially, the emotion in a poem can be more powerful than the circumstances that give rise to it: for example, the context of dorm life. In other words, the power of the poem can be diminished by its biographical detail. Freed from these contexts, then, student work can find greater resonance.

The dramatic monologue also provides a kind of amplitude. One of the challenges of writing a poem is giving our personal concerns wider application: involving, even implicating others in our experiences. This is hard for new writers, and it’s not so easy for their professors, either. The dramatic monologue offers a solution in its use of shared cultural stories. Individual concerns instantly broaden in the mouths of characters that belong as much to reader as to poet. When Superman speaks the poem, the reader immediately has a way in: Superman is the reader’s character, too. He’s already a figure in our imaginations.

In addition, the dramatic monologue form is a way for students to begin an exploration of extended metaphorical thinking. The business of making meaning in poems must be approached obliquely; it requires indirection, what Frost called “the straight crookedness of a good walking stick.”[i] Few poets have the eloquence necessary to charge in with a direct statement of meaning and still create a rich, involving experience for the reader. One way to tackle the task of indirection, to give “crookedness” to your walking stick, is to write on two levels: a literal one and a figurative one. The dramatic monologue can provide training wheels for this kind of layered writing. In a dramatic monologue, the voice itself often functions as an extended metaphor. When I speak as Jonah inside the whale, I may well be spinning out a comparison of some aspect of myself, my own condition, with Jonah and his. It is intuitive, user-friendly figurative thinking. Especially for those students whose impulse is to try to communicate too directly—to make bald, flat statements of meaning—the dramatic monologue can be a toe first dipped into richer waters.

But not only does the dramatic monologue occasion strong student poems, the exploration of the form can also provide a platform for a wider discussion of the art. When I discuss the dramatic monologue in class, I find an effective springboard from which to encounter a number of fundamental aspects of poetry, from the complex relationship between the person of the poet and the voice on the page, to the power of detail to create experience and shape meaning, to issues of appropriation: the challenges of writing across lines of race, class, and gender. Rather than see the dramatic monologue as a discrete unit or a somewhat tangential form, we can see it as a central avenue into the study of writing poems.

Rather than see the dramatic monologue as a discrete unit or a somewhat tangential form, we can see it as a central avenue into the study of writing poems.

I start my discussion of the dramatic monologue simply by defining the form. My official definition is this: “A poem in which the speaker is clearly differentiated from the poet, and which turns on a revelation of character.” Of course the “speaker” part—the poet speaking through a different voice—is central, and I pause over the mechanics: first person, one speaker who is somehow distinguished from the person of the poet. I generally encourage students to use the title to identify the speaker, since I’m not sure there’s much to be gained by making the poem into a kind of riddle.

But I also want to get to that second part, “turns on a revelation of character.” We usually think of the dramatic monologue as a 19th-century form, launched by Robert Browning. But if so, what differentiates it from earlier poems in which poets spoke through masks—say, Milton’s “Lycidas,” Marvell’s mower poems, or Sidney’s eclogues? I think the answer lies in the role of psychology: that “revelation of character.” The form as we understand it now is a product of 19th-century thinking about identity, self-hood, and the subconscious. In that way, it’s a younger cousin of the novel.

For an “Introduction to Creative Writing” class, I also spend some time with the name itself, “dramatic monologue,” asking students to define its two parts, noting that the essential characteristics of the form are there in the name. The word “monologue” allows me to emphasize the nuts-and-bolts aspects of the form again: monologue, one speech, one discourse. But I linger over “dramatic,” too—from the Greek dran, to do, to perform an action. Students will often want to define “dramatic” as they use it in common parlance: emotional or flamboyant. So I remind them that this use is a simile; when we say someone is dramatic, we mean that their behavior is like something we might see on stage—it is that large in its gestures.

Highlighting the word “dramatic” allows me to talk about the dramatic monologue as an embodied form: not simply a ghostly speaker floating off in the ether somewhere, but, at its best, a speaker anchored in a specific place, doing something, performing an action, allowing the reader to experience a play-like scene. If the nuts-and-bolts business of a first-person speaker distinguished from the poet and the importance of psychological complexity are the first two pillars of the dramatic monologue, then the role of drama is the third.

Early in the lesson, I take a few minutes with a class to generate a list of possible speakers on the board, such as characters from mythology, popular culture, real historical figures, and hypothetical persons (the first human born on the moon, say). My next step—before I ask them to do any writing—it to raise the question of dramatic values. Where will they place their speaker and what will he or she be doing there? To whom will he or she be speaking? This allows us to think about how a single speaker can occasion very different poems. To think setting and action is to focus the poem thematically; and once you’ve got your character placed somewhere, doing something specific, you’ve already moved a long way toward the kind of detail and sensory language that is going to give a reader something to see, taste, hear, smell, or touch. So let’s say a student wants to write a poem in the voice of the Wicked Witch of the East. I might ask, is that the witch spying a pair of ruby slippers in a Macy’s picture window—or is it the witch groaning out her last words with a Sears-Roebuck catalogue house settling atop her? These will be very different poems—very different opportunities.

Setting and action provide also two advantages specific to the work of the dramatic monologue. First, they help us build the poem. The speaker—our witch—sees, evokes where she is. She says, “In front of me, a mannequin in ruby shoes. I stop, and rush-hour commuters bustle by…” And this observation gives rise to thinking, to meditation. Maybe it reminds her of her girlhood in Wichita Falls. And then she takes (and describes) some action: “I hitch up my skirt to reveal my dull black flats.” And that, too, gives rise to meditation. This time, she’s remembering how, as a girl, she wanted ballerina slippers. This alternation between seeing, doing, and thinking, between engagement with the outer world and exploration of the inner one, is finally how a dramatic monologue takes shape.

Additionally—in the best monologues—the “dramatic” part isn’t merely sensory and a spur to composition, it is also thematic, even emblematic. Think of the Duke of Ferrara in Browning’s “My Last Duchess” drawing the curtain on his wife’s portrait. He is coming down the stairs with the emissary from the Count, father of his next Duchess, and pauses in front of the curtained painting. Then he draws the curtain to reveal a picture of his deceased wife. “Since none puts by,” he says, “The curtain I have drawn for you, but I.”[ii] The moment is sensory; it gives the reader something to imagine. And the moment builds the poem: it allows Ferrara to launch into a meditation on the painter Brother Pandolf, and then how the cheeks in the portrait obtained their irksome spot of joy. In that way, it makes possible the subtle threat that is the point of his whole speech. But in addition, the moment is emblematic. In the curtained portrait, the Duke finally exerts the control over his late wife that he could not while she was alive. His ability to move the curtain functions as a symbol of his desire to oversee access: “none puts by / The curtain”—but him.

A more contemporary example of the use of the dramatic values of setting, action, and addressee is Randall Jarrell’s “Next Day.” This poem, too, is built on an alternation between engagement with the outer world and exploration of the inner one. The poem opens with the speaker—a middle-aged housewife—choosing detergent. She says, “Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All, / I take a box / And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.”[iii] Then she observes the other shoppers, that they are too much like her: “selves I overlook.” And from there she turns inward, reflecting on William James’s definition of wisdom. Then she moves back to the outer world to bring the groceries to her car and observe the grocery boy. And this, too, becomes an opportunity for her to turn inward—specifically, to muse on her fading desirability. Jarrell builds the whole poem this way: an alternation between inner and outer worlds. But not only is the action in “Next Day” a spur to meditation, much of it also functions emblematically. Those detergents that open the poem are a terrific example: “from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All.” They serve to locate the speaker in a supermarket—provide the kind of sensory, specific detail that evokes setting—and also function as ironic emblems of the cheerless, joyless experience of her life. The only fulfillment she has access to comes from consumer products. Here and only here can she obtain cheer, joy, and all. Later, as the speaker drives home, she notices her eyes in the “rear view mirror.” Again, the detail resonates emblematically, embodying the mood of retrospection. The entire poem is a look in the “rear view mirror.”

“Next Day” also suggests how the dramatic monologue form gives students a chance to think about questions of appropriation. What are the risks and responsibilities of writing across race, class, and gender? Are there some lines a poet ought not to cross, given the act of empathy inherent in writing any dramatic monologue? For example, was Snodgrass’s Fuehrer Bunker, in which he wrote from the point of view of Hitler and his circle in their final days, a vulgar project—no matter how well executed, no matter what it revealed about the human condition? “Next Day” raises the question of writing across gender. Jarrell, a man, has written in a woman’s voice about the entry into middle age. Although I leave Jarrell’s name on the poem, I don’t draw attention to the fact of his gender until a class has exhausted the poem’s meaning and form. Then I ask students a few open-ended questions. First, does it make the poem seem better—a greater act of empathy or invention—to know that it was written across gender? Then, does it make the poem seem worse—reveal, say, some essential thinness in the speaker? (Might a middle-aged woman meditate on something more important than a grocery boy’s lack of interest in her? Perhaps the poem suggests, not what a woman would think, but what a man would think a woman thinks?) And lastly—an entirely speculative question—why: why write this poem through a mask? Why would Jarrell talk through a female speaker? Of course there’s no clear answer here; scholars have written about this question. But it does offer another way into the poem—and a way for students to think about their own monologues. Why choose this tactic with a particular subject? What do the masks we use reveal about us? And what if Jarrell had chosen to explore these concerns in a lyric? What unwanted complication or cultural baggage might that have brought into the poem?

When teaching the dramatic monologue, it seems almost inevitable to make a comparison with the assumptions and strategies of the lyric poem, and I take this comparison as an opportunity to talk more broadly about the relationship between speaker and poet. That relationship—in any kind of poem—is rarely simple and, even within a single text, may not be stable. My “official” dramatic monologue definition read, “the voice of the speaker is clearly differentiated from the voice of the poet”—but that’s really just a place to start the conversation. Despite the clear differentiation, there is often what I’ll call “modulation” in voice, a muddying of the waters.

The lyric voice is, in some ways, an “opposite” tactic to the voice of a dramatic monologue. One of the defining characteristics of the lyric poem is a minimizing of the distance between the speaker and the person of the poet. This distance is sometimes collapsed entirely, creating a “speaker-poet,” a speaker that identifies him or herself as the writer of the poem. Consider the final lines of Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 18: “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see / So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”[iv] The speaker is identifying himself as the composing poet, promising the beloved eternal life through the vehicle of his text. Part of the power of such a lyric comes from this collapsing of distance: we get the sense of entering into someone’s heart, of intimacy, of truth. “These,” we might say, “are Shakespeare’s real words.” This is the kind of effect that John Stuart Mill may have been thinking of when he defined poetry as “overheard.”[v]

But of course this sense of truth is a fiction. A lyric is never the spontaneous, unmediated utterance it seems to be, and it is never really the person of the poet speaking to us. Rather, a lyric voice is stylized, shaped, maybe idealized as in Shakespeare’s sonnet, or maybe just simplified—a streamlining of the human voice, which contains multitudes, is chaotic and ambivalent. The biographical person of Shakespeare might have said, “But thy eternal beauty shall not fade—except maybe around the eyes a little bit, you’ve been spending too much time in the sun lately, and you’re getting wrinkles there…” The Sonnet-18 speaker, however, knows when to quit.

The dramatic monologue works just the opposite way. A monologue advertizes itself as fiction and gets its power from invention, from raising the curtain on the stage of the imagination. Think of the beginning of Tennyson’s poem, “Tithonus.” The Greek mythological character Tithonus asked his immortal lover Aurora to make him immortal, too. This she did, Tennyson writes, “with a smile,” but she gave him only immortal life, not immortal youth.[vi] So Tithonus speaks to us with his body decayed after centuries and centuries of living. He begins: “The woods decay, the woods decay and fall.” This terrific opening line gives us that immediate leap into fiction, into a new point of view. Just as we mortals might see a field of cornstalks “decay and fall,” Tithonus can view the woods that way. So different is his scale of time, so intense his sense of days slipping.

But just as the voice of lyric modulates away from the poet’s human voice toward a character, as it must to make the speaker representative, coherent, to shape the poem toward meaning, the voice of a dramatic monologue also often modulates. In this case, away from character, toward the poet’s actual voice—in order to let us feel the human stakes behind the mask. The dramatic monologue and lyric, then, start at opposite poles, but can modulate in toward each other.

In “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision,” Adrienne Rich compares rhyme and meter to “asbestos gloves.”[vii] She explains, “In those years formalism was part of the strategy—like asbestos gloves, it allowed me to handle materials I couldn’t pick up barehanded.” She then goes on to mention “a later strategy” that also allowed her to control and contain challenging material: speaking through “the persona of a man”—that is, the dramatic monologue. Ironically, then, the dramatic monologue does mutual exclusive things well. The use of a character voice can provide an escape from our biographies, as we write in the voice of someone else. At the same time, the use of a character voice can allow us to go deeper into the feelings and ideas associated with our biographies, since it provides a kind of insulation.

The monologue form does insulate us as we write, but that insulation can be uneven, as if a mouse had eaten a few holes in the gloves.

But perhaps the power—and pleasure—of the dramatic monologue is more complicated than Rich’s image of asbestos gloves suggests. The monologue form does insulate us as we write, but that insulation can be uneven, as if a mouse had eaten a few holes in the gloves. In some spots, both reader and poet can feel a jolt of heat. Within a single poem, the voice can modulate toward and away from the poet’s actual voice—and this can be purposefully, even playfully manipulated by the poet. The poet can break through the character voice in order to speak more directly about him or herself. The felt intensity of a lyric voice, then, takes the stage, stretching out through the fourth wall of the poem.

In the classroom, I like to use Susan Mitchell’s poem, “From the Journals of the Frog Prince,” to illustrate this modulation of voice. The poem teaches well because it is easily accessible and terrifically sensory (employing tactile, olfactory, and auditory imagery, in addition to things to see), offering a great vehicle to remind students of the power of imagery to involve the reader. The frog prince lies in bed with his princess, musing on his disillusionment with his new life (his new wife), desperately missing his pond. But at points, the voice of the poem seems to outrun its context. For example, halfway through, there’s the single-line stanza: “I no longer tremble.”[viii] The machinery of the dramatic monologue has fallen away, and the line seems to leap beyond the poem, resonating in the silence around it (the white space) like a struck gong. The poem closes:

What are you thinking of? she whispers.
I am staring into the garden.
I am watching the moon
wind its trail of golden slime around the oak,
over the stone basin of the fountain.
How can I tell her
I am thinking that transformations are not forever?

In the last two lines, the poem again seems to leave behind the machinery of the monologue to speak more directly about the emotional reality of being in a relationship. “Transformations” is not limited to frog-to-prince; it feels like a statement about all of the ways in which one might try to change oneself to get or keep another’s love. The poet seems to be speaking in her own voice—about her (and our) willingness to change.

So far, I’ve focused largely on the dramatic monologue as a “persona poem,” a way for a poet to explore his or her psychological landscape. And in our moment, which is so interested in self-exploration and self-revelation, the form often functions that way—as if the poet’s own voice were put through a distortion machine, like a guitar effects box. But this focus excludes another important strain, the dramatic monologue as a means to document, the poet as archivist. The goal in such a monologue is not for the poet to create a psychological echo of him or herself behind the speaker, but to create the sense that another real person has stepped up to the microphone, and to use the poem as a means to preserve and disseminate that voice.

A recent example of the poet as archivist comes in C.D. Wright’s book-length collage, One With Others. The book is about a white woman named V who joins Willie Wine’s 1968 March Against Fear and is ostracized from the white community for doing so. She was one with others, as in “the other.” The collage contains many passages that are essentially dramatic monologues, in which Wright recreates the voices of V’s contemporaries. The book is, in some ways, a research project: there is a loose over-arching narrative of Wright traveling the south, conducting interviews, uncovering events, hearing these voices.[ix]

But even in dramatic monologues like this, where the speaker is not a figure for the poet, there is usually still a sense of the poet’s personal investment, the stakes. In One With Others, Wright is paying tribute to V, as a civil-rights pioneer and her mentor and friend. Another recent example of the poet as archivist, one I use in my advanced classes, is “My Grandfather Recalls His Wrong Answer,” from Steve Kronen’s 1992 collection, Empirical Evidence. The poem consists of a speaker recalling a planetarium visit twenty-four years earlier, in which he and his wife watched as the dome above them “shivered and flashed, the heavens a delirium / of lights.” [x] Describing the movement of stars, the man explains, “a whole year pivoted / before our eyes in less than an hour.” Then, as the planetarium show concludes, he and his wife exchange a few words. Here are the poem’s final lines:

And as each star unriveted
itself from the walls ending out tour

of the skies, her face masked
in the half-dispersed
dark, she turned to me and asked,
which of us, years from now, would be first.

The poem asks us to make an initial leap, to understand the question the wife asked, “which of us… [will] be first”: which will be first—to die. And once we make that leap, we can make a few deductions. Since the answer to the question is known, and the husband is speaking, we know the wife has died. And since the grandfather’s answer was “wrong,” we know he said that he would pass first. After a class has made these deductions, I like to discuss the grandfather’s feelings and the documentary impulse at work in the poem. Perhaps the grandfather’s answer—that he would die first—was the expression of an impulse to protect his wife. If so, maybe he now feels the failure of having been unable to do so. Or maybe his answer suggests that he could not imagine life without her. In any case, he’s heartbroken, grieving. And then the documentary impulse: we don’t have Steve Kronen’s voice here or a psychological echo of it; instead we have his desire to retain and share his grandfather’s words—which I assume come from a real moment, even if Kronen chose not to preserve the grandfather’s diction and speech pattern.

But even though the speaker is not meant to be a figure for Kronen, his personal investment is still felt. The title sets that up—“My Grandfather” (my italics). It makes the addressee clear: Steve Kronen himself has heard these words, just as we are now hearing them. The result is that our experience of the poem—our sympathy for the grandfather’s loss—to some extent mirrors his. The poem, then, is about two sets of feelings: the grandfather’s loss and the grandson’s grief as he hears about it, which we can begin to imagine through our own reaction. So the grandfather-grandson relationship also becomes part of the poem.

Kronen’s poem is also interesting to think about in terms of dramatic values. We don’t know where the grandfather is while he is saying these words, as there is no present-time setting or action. But we do have his memory of the planetarium show, which offers us a sensory experience as well as thematic resonance. In the second stanza, the poem compares the planetarium show to “neurons firing along the brain / of a suddenly happy man.” The simile may be a little direct for some readers, but it does suggest a painful contrast with the present, in which the grandfather is a very unhappy man. More subtle is the imagery in the third stanza, the line I quoted above, which describes the action of the planetarium stars: “a whole year pivoted / before our eyes in less than an hour.” The light show suggests how the grandfather has experienced the movement of time since the exchange with his wife. A year “in less than an hour”: twenty-four years like a single day. The loss, then, is compounded: not only is his wife gone, but his time with her passed far too quickly.

One last thing I like to notice about Kronen’s poem is its use of form: four rhymed quatrains. I note how the poem uses enjambment to keep its music close to that of speech, as opposed to song—which might well have been the effect of combining end rhyme with end-stopped lines. The poem, then, has shapeliness, formal appeal, without completely sacrificing its spoken quality.

When teaching the use of the dramatic monologue as a documentary form, I often ask students to write a monologue that records a moment when someone told them a story or brought them into a confidence, perhaps someone dear to them that they may be likely to lose. I also use this discussion as a chance to talk about the role of research in the dramatic monologue, as in Wright’s One With Others. In “The Figure a Poem Makes,” Robert Frost describes the kind of research I mean: “Scholars get their knowledge with conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic; poets theirs cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books. They stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields.”[xi] I suggest students perform web searches or root around in family documents for vivid and potentially emblematic detail. A related assignment I give is to provide students with a list of names they probably won’t know, or won’t know well (or well enough), including Phyllis Wheatley and Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the first person in space. I ask students to learn about one of the figures on the list and write a monologue from that person’s point of view.

I will close by briefly mentioning one last topic: how dramatic monologues can cluster together to form larger units, even the book-length series. I would approach this topic only in an advanced class, when I can take three or four weeks to focus on the dramatic monologue, enough time to read and discuss a few extended structures. This application of the form seems particularly important right now as it provides a narrative outlet for poetry in a time when narrative has largely been taken over by prose fiction. Contemporary epic poems (so far as they exist) tend to be sequences of lyrics or lyric fragments. But even in small clusters of two or three, the monologue can become a far richer project, the interplay of relationships increasing exponentially.

I start small, perhaps asking students to answer an already-existing monologue by letting the addressee have a few words in response, and thinking about how this can be an occasion for play. There are lots of examples out there. Richard Howard has written a very funny answer to “My Last Duchess” in which his speaker—the wedding emissary so subtly threatened by the Duke of Ferrara—gets to report back to his master.[xii] This assignment has the advantage of offering students clear parameters and grist: the material in the first poem is there to respond to and re-characterize. I also like to ask students to write a dramatic monologue that expresses their concerns, and then give them the follow-up task of writing a poem in which the addressee gets a chance to respond, so they end up rendering both voices. The challenge here is not just to write a good poem, but also in the act of empathy: the students must find a way to enter both sides of a debate. Sometimes, being forced to empathize with an alternate position will create a sense of discovery that can be felt on the page.

And then there are longer series of monologues, in which the same events, same scenes are recounted from multiple points of view. The result is a rich experience, a web like an epistolary novel. Kelly Cherry’s poem, “The Family,” from her book Natural Theology depicts a family of early humans dealing with the loss of the father on the hunt. The pleasure here is following cross relationships. Also particularly interesting is the title poem to Rick Hilles’s 2006 collection Brother Salvage, which goes through three layers of speakers. The poet explains how he heard a story in which a speaker explains how he found a book, and then finally, we get a series of pages from that book, a first-person account of a Jew’s last days in Auschwitz. The result of this nesting is that the final voice seems to reach us from a far off place; it feels fragile, tenuous. There is also no shortage of recent book-length series to consider. Tony Barnstone’s Tongue of War (BKMK 2009) explores the pacific conflict in World War Two; Campbell McGrath’s Shannon (Ecco 1999) takes on the Lewis and Clark expedition; and Laurie Sheck’s Captivity (Knopf 2007) takes its voice from early-American captivity narratives. These collections offer great models for how to sustain a project, and—the Sheck and McGrath—for how a character voice can evolve over a narrative arc.

Given enough time, a class could also experiment with hybrid texts like Dickey’s “Sheep Child,” which begins with a nearly omniscient third-person voice and then, half way through, switches to a dramatic mode. Even The Waste Land can be examined profitably through this lens, as it moves unannounced between lyric and dramatic modes, or “Song of Myself,” in which the speaker is poised somewhere between myth and man. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My goal here has simply been to suggest the possibilities for instruction in the form. Though it is easy to imagine a dream course that some English Department might let me teach one day—an advanced seminar that takes the dramatic monologue as the foundation for a term-long discussion about writing poems.


Benjamin S. Grossberg’s books are Sweet Core Orchard, winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary award, and Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (Ashland Poetry Press, 2007). His third collection, Space Traveler, forthcoming from the University of Tampa, is a book-length series of dramatic monologues. He teaches at the University of Hartford.



  • [i]. Robert Frost, “The Figure a Poem Makes” in Collected Poems, Prose & Plays, eds. Richard Poirier and Mark Richardson (New York: Library of America, 1995) 777.

  • [ii]. Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess” in Selected Poems (New York: Penguin Classics, 2001) 25–26.

  • [iii]. Randall Jarrell, “Next Day” in The Complete Poems (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981) 279–280.

  • [iv]. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974) 1752.

  • [v]. John Stuart Mill’s phrase is “Eloquence is heard; poetry is overheard,” taken from his 1833 essay “Thoughts on Poetry and its Varieties.” The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume I – Autobiography and Literary Essays, eds. John M. Robson and Jack Stillinger (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981).

  • [vi]. Alfred Tennyson, “Tithonus” in The Poetical Works of Tennyson, ed. G. Robert Strange (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974) 89.

  • [vii]. Adrienne Rich, “When We Dead Awaken” in On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979) 40–41.

  • [viii]. Susan Mitchell, “From the Journals of the Frog Prince” in The Water Inside the Water (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1983) 41–42.

  • [ix]. C.D. Wright, One With Others (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon, 2010).

  • [x]. Steve Kronen, “My Grandfather Recalls his Wrong Answer” in Empirical Evidence (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992) 67.

  • [xi]. Frost, 778.

  • [xii]. Richard Howard, “Nikolaus Mardruz to His Master Ferdinand, Count of Tyrol, 1565” in Trappings (New York: Turtle Point Press, 1999) 3–10.


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