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Reading: ‘These speculations sour in the sun’: Self-Reflection, Aging, and Death in Weldon Kees’s ‘Fo...

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‘These speculations sour in the sun’: Self-Reflection, Aging, and Death in Weldon Kees’s ‘For my Daughter’

Author:

Rudolph Glitz

University of Amsterdam, NL
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Abstract

This article provides the first thorough analysis of Weldon Kees’s canonical sonnet ‘For my Daughter’ (1940). It does so by way of close-reading and placing the poem within several long-standing poetic traditions as well as the author’s oeuvre as a whole. Said traditions include, most prominently, that of mirror literature, which regularly problematizes selfhood, the aging process, and death, but also modernist poetry and the sonnet, both Shakespearean and Romantic. My central interpretative claim is that the speaker’s bewildering inspection of a non-existent daughter in the sonnet results from, and can make sense as, his gloomy projection of her imagined features onto his own mirror image early in the morning.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.489
How to Cite: Glitz, R., 2019. ‘These speculations sour in the sun’: Self-Reflection, Aging, and Death in Weldon Kees’s ‘For my Daughter’. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 18(1), pp.27–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.489
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Published on 20 Aug 2019.

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