Bob Hicok and the Smaller Picture

One of my favorite poems that we read was “Happy Anniversary March 16, 2006” by Bob Hicok, so I looked at some of his other poems. One that really caught my attention was “The Missing,” which is a short poem about the search for a missing girl. What caught my attention, just like “Happy Anniversary,” were the emotions that were being portrayed throughout the poem. Hicok shows all the worry, the fear, the sorrow, and even the guilt that can be associated with this event in the poem, just as he shows the sorrow and naivety of war in “Happy Anniversary.” He connects events to emotions that society can understand and then uses those emotions to force us to see the small picture, the individual that is hidden in the bigger picture. It’s a technique that I have seen across some of his poetry and that I believe helps show the darker side of the world. What do you guys think about these emotions?

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2 Responses to Bob Hicok and the Smaller Picture

  1. Rachel Rotramel says:

    I really enjoyed Hicok’s poem as well. Sometimes when I read poetry about war (or anything political), I feel like the poet is almost talking down to the audience, like they feel as though their views are superior to everyone else’s. However, I did not feel that way at all about “Happy Anniversary”. It seemed to address all US citizens (rather than, say, just citizens that supported the war), and it focused more on how society as a whole has just become desensitized to these atrocities. Like you said, he shows a “darker side of the world,” but I feel like this poem was including our society, as well as the world as a whole, which makes it much easier for people to relate to without feeling defensive.

  2. Emily Considine says:

    I love the technique that Hicok uses. My small group examined his poem Happy Anniversary on Wednesday and the way he uses his words to get his points across is just phenomenal. I think it is important for society to have a way to connect with what is going on in the world using a way other than the news or media, which is where poetry comes in. Hicok’s poems are not a reality slap in the face, he goes about it in a easily understandable and sensitive way which I think is very effective.

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