Woodchucks Maxine Kumin's, Woodchucks provides an interesting and creative perspective into the mind state of those influenced by nazi warfare. What begins as a seemingly humorous cat and mouse hunt, reminiscent of such movie classics as Caddyshack, soon develops into an insatiable lust for blood. Kumin's descriptive language provides the reader with the insight necessary to understand to the speaker's psychology as they are driven beyond the boundaries of pacifism. The poem does indeed have a rhyme scheme, yet doesn't conform to conventional forms of rhyme such as A, B, A, B, etc. Rather, each stanza seems to follow the order of A, B, C, A, C, B, which may not be apparent to the reader atfirst, but doesn't hinder the poem's effectiveness. Thefirst stanza begins with the speaker describing their failed attempt at eliminating the pests.
Thefirst attempt was described as merciful: "The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful, quick at the bone". However, the following lines offer a bit of humor to the chase as it seems the woodchuck has outsmarted the speaker as a result of their overconfidence: "and the case we had against them was airtight, both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone, but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range." Thisfirst stanza sets the stage for what would appear to be a humorous battle of whits between the speaker and the woodchucks. The following stanza continues in this vein with the cynical statement, "Next morning they turned up again, no worse for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch." However, those that follow are slowly indicative of the speaker's mental deterioration. The statements of the food being eaten by the woodchucks are filled with bitterness as the language begins to resemble that of a killer. "They brought down the marigolds as a matter .