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song and error - Thomas 1 Meredith Thomas Professor Orr...

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Thomas 1 Meredith Thomas Professor Orr English 102, 004 3 August 2009 “Carmen et Error”? Following the tragic death of her mother in 1986, Averill Curdy began writing poetry at the age of thirty. After years of working in corporate planning and marketing, she channeled her grief into creative energy and changed the direction of her life. She began to write with the intention to inspire and motivate others through her work (Pace). In the June (2009) issue of Poetry , Curdy published her most recent work, Song & Error . Through this elegy’s intense imagery and figurative language, she compares the tragedies that occurred worldwide in 1986 to her own tragedy of her mother’s death and their related mistakes. The poem can essentially be divided into two sections: the first being tragic events on a worldwide scale, and the second involving the tragic death of Curdy’s mother. In the first line, “It was 1986,” the poet clearly references 1986 as a year filled with tragedies and mistakes. The first event to which Curdy alludes is the Afghan misell crisis: “multiple – launch – surface, anti – tank missiles” (Line 2). In the midst of the Soviets’ war with Afghanistan, the United States stepped in and armed the Afghan rebels with the destructive weapons needed to triumph over the Soviets. While at the time this was a victory over communism, it later proved to be a mistake as these were the very same weapons used to launch attacks on the United States in later years (Coll).
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Thomas 2 The next reference in this poem occurs in line four where Curdy mentions Ovid, who was exiled from Rome with the charge “carmen et error”, meaning a song and error, thus the title of this poem. While Ovid was only briefly mentioned in her poem, Curdy connects this reference to the Greek poet on three different levels: a costly mistake made, the metamorphosis of her mother’s dying body, and the great influence both her mother and the poet have on her life. Ovid
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