Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl: On "Resume"

Here the irony is not that the poem advocates suicide but says the opposite. The irony lies in indirection, as it offers unexpected and ultimately despairing reasons for avoiding suicide and continuing to live, and in the ambiguity of the title: the word resume, without accents, means to "go on again, after an interruption; to continue," all of which is appropriate to the poem. Resume, with accents, means a "summary," particularly "a brief account of personal qualifications and experience," as if the poem summarizes the speaker's experiences and qualifications in this area (the speaker has tried them all and knows!). Irony can entail humor -- as in the title and development of this poem; often there is a serious edge to or point behind the humor.


Title Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl: On "Resume" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Jack Ridl, Peter Schakel Criticism Target Dorothy Parker
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 25 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses
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