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One of the aspects of this poetry collection that I am interested in is how the volume works as a whole. The first section, Liliana, seems to focus on the youth and childhood of the narrator with its commonality being the presence of “the figment,” God, and a character titles “Liliana.” In the section Geography of Gods Undoing the topic of the poems changes, the style remains confessional but there is a shift in the poems. Nature becomes more apparent and we see the narrator in more settings outside of her head. It seems that the poems begin to become more centered in a reality, while the first section seemed to live very close to the subconscious and the distant past. Then in the third and final section, Room of the Queens Dreams, the images of the figment and Liliana return. It seems to me as if this section seems to represent the narrators return to, if not happiness, some sort of appeasement or satisfaction.

 

In “Room of Curved Spines” she writes “I read one way to become yourself again/ is to repeat the stories so I sit still/ and tell once more about the spines” I think that in this line we get at the purpose for this collection and its set up. In the first section we get the happy childhood and the beginnings of its downfall, then the middle section gives us the time without Liliana, when the figment and the narrators happiness, is less visible. Then in the last section Liliana returns and it is as if the narrator has moved through her depression and is ready to start again and through this Liliana is able to return. In the second section in the poem Town of My Return she writes “I had not died, though/ I had tried to.” and then in this last section in Train Dream Recovery she writes “so the train would run under/ instead of over me” which I think might mean that the narrator no longer wants to die. Although I admit to having read few full collections of poetry as a whole I still find it interesting that this one has such a particular set up. Each section is committed to a specific goal and the poems within work to create the narrative that will get the reader to that.

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