Kenneth Koch

Jordan Sanderson (Auburn University)
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Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1925, Kenneth Koch wrote his first play at age four and a poem at the age of five; sixty-nine years later he said, “The whole idea of writing poetry has a lot to do with escaping, escaping from the bourgeois society of Cincinnati, Ohio, escaping from any society of Cincinnati, Ohio, and escaping from any society anywhere” (Lehman 213). Poetry not only helped Kenneth Koch escape from the stuffiness of society, but it also helped him create other worlds where he found the pleasures of life. In “The Pleasures of Peace”, a poem written against the Vietnam War, Koch writes:

So now I must devote my days to The Pleasures of Peace – To my contemporaries I’ll leave the Horrors of War,They can do them better than I – each poet shares only a portionOf the

1413 words

Citation: Sanderson, Jordan. "Kenneth Koch". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 November 2005 [, accessed 29 February 2024.]

2550 Kenneth Koch 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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