Denise Duhamel and Michael Burkard continue the work of postconfessional poets like Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton using humor to explore culturally taboo topics and expand the traditional range of poetic subjects. The works of Duhamel and Burkard often explore subjects that are secret, shameful or unspoken made approachable through tender and satirical humor to turn these issues into something beautiful. Duhamel uses humor to critique American culture and the domestic arena with the clarity of an outsider while Burkard uses humor to write about loss and recovery, discovering the fantastic in the familiar. Through humor in first-person confessional poems these poets create a more open environment where the poet and their audiences may confront the truth of themselves and the world in which they live.
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