In this Book

Door in the Mountain
summary
Since the 1965 publication of her first book, Dream Barker, selected for the Yale Younger Poets Award, Jean Valentine has published eight collections of poetry to critical acclaim. Spare and intensely-felt, Valentine's poems present experience as only imperfectly graspable. This volume gathers together all of Valentine's published poems and includes a new collection, "Door in the Mountain."

Valentine's poetry is as recognizable as the slant truth of a dream. She is a brave, unshirking poet who speaks with fire on the great subjects--love, and death, and the soul. Her images--strange, canny visions of the unknown self--clang with the authenticity of real experience. This is an urgent art that wants to heal what it touches, a poetry that wants to tell, intimately, the whole life.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xvii
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  1. New Poems
  2. p. 1
  1. Annunciation
  2. p. 3
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  1. In our child house
  2. p. 3
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  1. Nine
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. The girl
  2. p. 4
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  1. Mother
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. Eighteen
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. “She Sang”
  2. p. 6
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  1. A Bone Standing Up
  2. p. 6
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  1. The Hawthorn Robin Mends with Thorns
  2. p. 7
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  1. Out in a sailboat
  2. p. 7
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  1. A wonderful boat
  2. p. 7
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  1. I came to you
  2. p. 8
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  1. Cousin
  2. p. 8
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  1. The Very Bad Horse
  2. p. 9
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  1. Once
  2. p. 9
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  1. So many secrets
  2. p. 10
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  1. Eleventh Brother
  2. p. 10
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  1. Once in the nights
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Under the gold
  2. p. 11
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  1. The Windows
  2. pp. 11-12
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  1. Go Clear
  2. p. 12
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  1. The Coin
  2. p. 13
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  1. October morning
  2. p. 13
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  1. I heard my left hand
  2. p. 13
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  1. In the evening
  2. p. 14
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  1. We cut the new day
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. Occurrence of White
  2. p. 15
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  1. How have I hurt you?
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Do flies remember us
  2. p. 16
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  1. You drew my head
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. The little, faintly blue clay eggs
  2. p. 17
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  1. Happiness (3)
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. Letter
  2. p. 18
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  1. I could never let go
  2. p. 19
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  1. The Basket House
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. The House and the World
  2. p. 20
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  1. In your eyes
  2. p. 21
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  1. Woman, Leaving
  2. p. 21
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  1. Trim my hoofs
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Two Poems for Matthew Shepard
  2. p. 22
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  1. The Blue Dory, the Soul
  2. pp. 22-23
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  1. The Rally
  2. p. 23
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  1. The Growing Christ of Tzintzuntzan
  2. p. 24
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  1. Sheep
  2. p. 24
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  1. To the Bardo
  2. pp. 24-25
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  1. Rodney Dying (4)
  2. p. 25
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  1. Door in the Mountain
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. Monarch butterfly
  2. p. 26
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  1. My old body
  2. p. 26
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  1. Inkwell daybreak
  2. p. 27
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  1. The path between
  2. p. 27
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  1. The Night Sea
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. The Shirt
  2. p. 28
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  1. One Foot in the Dark
  2. p. 28
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  1. A weed green
  2. pp. 28-29
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  1. Fears: Night Cabin
  2. p. 29
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  1. so wild
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. I have lived in your face
  2. p. 30
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  1. A goldfinch in the rain
  2. p. 30
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  1. The grain of the wood
  2. p. 31
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  1. The push or fly
  2. p. 31
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  1. I would be
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. Avalo
  2. p. 32
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  1. Do you remember?
  2. p. 32
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  1. Advent Calendar
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. We didn’t know each other
  2. p. 33
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  1. Touch with your finger
  2. p. 33
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  1. Noon in the Line Outside
  2. p. 34
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  1. Inside
  2. p. 34
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  1. Your number is lifting off my hand
  2. pp. 34-35
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  1. The Needle North
  2. p. 35
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  1. The Passing
  2. p. 36
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  1. In the Burning Air
  2. pp. 36-37
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  1. Little house
  2. p. 37
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 38
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  1. Dream Barker (1965)
  2. p. 39
  1. First Love
  2. p. 41
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  1. For a Woman Dead at Thirty
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. Miles from Home
  2. pp. 42-43
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  1. To Salter’s Point
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. Lines in Dejection
  2. pp. 44-45
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  1. Sleep Drops Its Nets
  2. p. 45
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  1. Déjà-vu
  2. p. 45
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  1. Sunset at Wellfleet
  2. p. 46
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  1. Asleep over Lines from Willa Cather
  2. pp. 46-47
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  1. Cambridge by Night
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. To a Friend
  2. pp. 48-49
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  1. Waiting
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. Sasha and the Poet
  2. pp. 50-51
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  1. The Second Dream
  2. p. 51
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  1. A Bride’s Hours
  2. pp. 51-52
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  1. Afterbirth
  2. pp. 52-53
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  1. Sarah’s Christening Day
  2. p. 53
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  1. Tired of London
  2. p. 54
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  1. Cambridge, April 27, 1957
  2. pp. 54-55
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  1. New York, April 27, 1962
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. September 1963
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Riverside
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. For Teed
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. My Grandmother’s Watch
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. The Beast with Two Backs
  2. pp. 60-61
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  1. The Little Flower
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. Sex
  2. p. 70
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  1. Adam and Eve: Poem on Folded Paper
  2. p. 71
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  1. Dream Barker
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. To My Soul
  2. p. 72
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  1. Pilgrims
  2. p. 73
  1. The Couples
  2. p. 75
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  1. Fireside
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. Solomon
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. In the Museum
  2. pp. 77-78
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  1. By the Boat Pond
  2. p. 78
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  1. The Summer House
  2. pp. 78-79
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  1. Woods
  2. p. 80
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  1. Her dream: the child
  2. pp. 80-81
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  1. Orpheus and Eurydice
  2. pp. 81-82
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  1. Goodbye
  2. pp. 82-83
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  1. Separation
  2. pp. 83-85
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  1. Thinking about Cain
  2. p. 85
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  1. Dearest,
  2. p. 86
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  1. April
  2. p. 87
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  1. Broken-down Girl
  2. pp. 87-88
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  1. Bin Dream, West Cottage East, D-11
  2. pp. 88-89
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  1. Bin Dream #2, Interview with Stravinsky
  2. p. 89
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  1. Death House
  2. pp. 89-90
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  1. Archangel
  2. p. 90
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  1. Half an Hour
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Visiting Day at School
  2. p. 92
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  1. The Child Jung
  2. p. 93
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  1. Coltrane, Syeeda’s Song Flute
  2. pp. 93-94
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  1. Photograph of Delmore Schwartz
  2. pp. 94-95
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  1. The Torn-down Building
  2. pp. 95-96
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  1. Moon Man
  2. pp. 96-97
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  1. The Child and the Terrorist, The Terrorist and the Child
  2. pp. 97-98
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  1. Night
  2. p. 98
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  1. Pilgrims
  2. pp. 98-99
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  1. Ordinary Things (1974)
  2. p. 101
  1. After Elegies
  2. p. 103
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  1. ‘Autumn Day’
  2. pp. 103-104
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  1. He said,
  2. p. 104
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  1. Forces
  2. pp. 104-105
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  1. Kin
  2. p. 105
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  1. Anesthesia
  2. pp. 105-106
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  1. After Elegies (2)
  2. p. 106
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  1. 3 a.m. in New York
  2. p. 107
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  1. Space
  2. pp. 107-108
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  1. Letter from a Country Room
  2. pp. 108-109
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  1. A Child’s Death
  2. p. 109
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  1. Revolution
  2. pp. 109-110
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  1. Three Voices One Night in the Community Kitchen
  2. pp. 110-111
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  1. The Knife
  2. pp. 111-112
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  1. Seeing L’Atalante
  2. p. 112
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  1. Twenty Days’ Journey
  2. pp. 113-117
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  1. This Hate
  2. p. 118
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  1. This Minute
  2. pp. 118-120
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  1. Couvre-Feu: after Paul Eluard
  2. pp. 120-121
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  1. Fidelities
  2. pp. 121-123
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  1. Susan’s Photograph
  2. pp. 123-124
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  1. Outside the Frame
  2. p. 124
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  1. Forces (2): Song
  2. p. 124
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 125
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  1. The Messenger (1979)
  2. p. 127
  1. Beka, 14
  2. p. 129
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  1. Dufy Postcard
  2. pp. 129-130
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  1. The Field
  2. pp. 130-131
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  1. Living Together
  2. pp. 131-132
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  1. Here Now
  2. pp. 132-133
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  1. The Forgiveness Dream: Man from the Warsaw Ghetto
  2. pp. 133-134
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  1. Turn
  2. pp. 134-135
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  1. Prayer in Fever
  2. p. 135
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  1. Working
  2. pp. 136-137
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  1. Silences: A Dream of Governments
  2. pp. 137-138
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  1. After Elegies (3)
  2. p. 138
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  1. The Messenger
  2. pp. 139-142
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  1. Huub Oosterhuis: Orpheus
  2. pp. 143-145
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  1. Osip Mandelstam: 394
  2. pp. 145-146
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  1. December 21st
  2. p. 147
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  1. Sanctuary
  2. pp. 148-149
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  1. What Happened
  2. pp. 149-151
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  1. Turn (2): After Years
  2. pp. 151-152
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  1. The Burden of Memory
  2. pp. 152-154
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  1. February 9th
  2. pp. 154-156
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  1. “Love and Work”: Freud Dying
  2. pp. 156-157
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  1. Letter from a Stranger
  2. p. 157
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  1. “Actuarial File”
  2. pp. 157-159
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  1. Lines from a Story
  2. pp. 159-160
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  1. March 21st
  2. pp. 160-162
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 163
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  1. Home.Deep.Blue (1989)
  2. p. 165
  1. Willi, Home
  2. p. 167
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  1. To Raphael, angel of happy meeting
  2. pp. 167-168
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  1. Primitive Painting: Liberation Day
  2. pp. 168-169
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  1. Awake, This Summer
  2. p. 169
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  1. Mandelstam
  2. pp. 169-170
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  1. The Drinker’s Wife Writes Back
  2. pp. 170-171
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  1. Birthday Letter from South Carolina
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. The Counselor Retires, and Then He Dies
  2. pp. 172-173
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  1. Juliana
  2. pp. 173-174
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  1. Visit
  2. p. 174
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  1. Snow Landscape, in a Glass Globe
  2. p. 175
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  1. Everything Starts with a Letter
  2. p. 176
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  1. About Love
  2. pp. 176-177
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  1. Little Song in Indian Summer
  2. p. 177
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  1. The King
  2. p. 178
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  1. High School Boyfriend
  2. pp. 178-179
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  1. Tonight I Can Write. . .
  2. p. 179
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  1. Trust Me
  2. p. 180
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  1. The River at Wolf
  2. p. 181
  1. X
  2. p. 183
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  1. Spring and Its Flowers
  2. pp. 183-184
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  1. The Summer Was Not Long Enough
  2. p. 184
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  1. Still Life, for Matisse
  2. pp. 184-185
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  1. Still Life: in the Epidemic
  2. pp. 185-186
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  1. Ikon
  2. pp. 186-187
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  1. The Year of the Snake
  2. pp. 187-188
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  1. The One You Wanted to Be Is the One You Are
  2. p. 188
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  1. Ironwood
  2. pp. 188-189
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  1. Bud
  2. p. 189
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  1. To a Young Poet
  2. pp. 189-190
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  1. Foraging
  2. pp. 190-191
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  1. Alfred and the Abortion
  2. p. 191
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  1. Redemption
  2. p. 192
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  1. Seeing You
  2. pp. 192-193
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  1. The Free Abandonment Blues
  2. pp. 193-194
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  1. The First Station
  2. pp. 194-195
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  1. Night Lake
  2. p. 195
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  1. The Badlands Said
  2. p. 196
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  1. The Missouri Speaks
  2. pp. 196-197
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  1. The River at Wolf
  2. p. 197
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  1. The Ring
  2. pp. 197-198
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  1. Barrie’s Dream, the Wild Geese
  2. p. 198
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  1. Fox Glacier
  2. p. 199
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  1. Lindis Pass, Borage
  2. pp. 199-200
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  1. By the Tekapo River, 100 Degrees
  2. p. 200
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  1. After Consciousness of This Big Form
  2. pp. 200-201
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  1. Everyone Was Drunk
  2. p. 201
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  1. In Fear (1)
  2. pp. 201-202
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  1. In Fear (2)
  2. p. 202
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  1. In This Egg
  2. pp. 202-203
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  1. The Under Voice
  2. p. 203
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  1. Come Akhmatova
  2. pp. 203-204
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  1. James Wright: in Memory
  2. p. 204
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  1. Wish-Mother
  2. pp. 204-205
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  1. At Cullen’s Island
  2. p. 205
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  1. The Wisdom Gravy
  2. pp. 205-206
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  1. American River Sky Alcohol Father
  2. p. 206
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  1. The Morning of My Mother’s Death
  2. pp. 206-207
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  1. The Night of My Mother’s Death
  2. p. 207
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  1. Second Mother
  2. p. 208
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  1. The Sea of Serenity
  2. pp. 208-209
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  1. My Mother’s Body, My Professor, My Bower
  2. p. 209
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  1. Butane
  2. pp. 209-210
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  1. At My Mother’s Grave
  2. p. 210
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  1. We Go Through Our Mother’s Things
  2. pp. 210-211
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  1. Death Asphodel
  2. p. 211
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  1. To the Memory of David Kalstone
  2. p. 211
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  1. The First Angel
  2. p. 212
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  1. At the Door
  2. pp. 212-213
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  1. Yield Everything, Force Nothing
  2. p. 213
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  1. Alone, Alive
  2. pp. 213-214
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  1. Flower
  2. p. 214
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  1. Skate
  2. p. 215
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  1. Guardian Angel in New York
  2. p. 215
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  1. To Plath, to Sexton
  2. pp. 215-216
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  1. The Power Table
  2. p. 216
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  1. Growing Darkness, Growing Light (1997)
  2. p. 217
  1. Rain
  2. p. 219
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  1. Sick, Away from Home
  2. p. 219
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  1. Friend
  2. p. 220
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  1. Homesick
  2. p. 220
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  1. New Life
  2. p. 221
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  1. Bees
  2. p. 221
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  1. The Tractors
  2. pp. 221-222
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  1. River Jordan
  2. p. 222
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  1. Night Porch
  2. pp. 222-223
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  1. World-light
  2. pp. 223-224
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  1. Snow Family
  2. p. 224
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  1. To the Black Madonna of Chartres
  2. pp. 224-225
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  1. Tell Me, What Is the Soul
  2. p. 225
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  1. Mastectomy
  2. pp. 225-226
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  1. Secret Room, Danger House
  2. p. 226
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  1. Red for Blood
  2. pp. 226-227
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  1. Yellow for Gold
  2. p. 227
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  1. Green for the Land
  2. p. 228
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  1. Black for the People
  2. pp. 228-229
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  1. Home
  2. p. 229
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  1. Long Irish Summer Day
  2. pp. 229-230
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  1. Dog Skin Coat
  2. pp. 230-231
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  1. Fellini in Purgatory
  2. p. 231
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  1. Elegy for Jane Kenyon
  2. pp. 231-232
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  1. You Are Not One in a Sequence
  2. p. 232
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  1. Alcohol
  2. pp. 232-233
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  1. Where Do You Look for Me?
  2. p. 233
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  1. Documentary: AIDS Support Group
  2. pp. 233-234
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  1. Poem with Words by Thornton Dial
  2. p. 234
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  1. A Bit of Rice
  2. pp. 234-235
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  1. The Night of Wally’s Service, Wally Said,
  2. p. 235
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  1. Rodney Dying
  2. p. 235
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  1. Rodney Dying (2)
  2. p. 236
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  1. Father Lynch Returns from the Dead
  2. p. 236
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  1. The Baby Rabbits in the Garden
  2. pp. 236-237
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  1. Mother and Child, Body and Soul
  2. pp. 237-238
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  1. Soul
  2. p. 238
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  1. Soul (2)
  2. pp. 238-239
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  1. The Mother Dreams
  2. pp. 239-240
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  1. Fistula
  2. p. 240
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  1. Soul (3)
  2. pp. 240-241
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  1. Open Heart
  2. pp. 241-243
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  1. Listening
  2. p. 243
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  1. The Cradle of the Real Life
  2. p. 245
  1. The Pen
  2. p. 247
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  1. Elegy for Jane Kenyon (2)
  2. pp. 247-248
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  1. Black Wolf
  2. p. 248
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  1. Mother Bones
  2. pp. 248-249
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  1. They lead me
  2. p. 249
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  1. Your mouth “appeared to me”
  2. pp. 249-250
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  1. Mare and Newborn Foal
  2. p. 250
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  1. Truth
  2. pp. 250-251
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  1. October Premonition
  2. p. 251
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  1. Rodney Dying (3)
  2. pp. 251-252
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  1. November
  2. p. 252
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  1. Labrador
  2. pp. 252-253
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  1. 1945
  2. p. 253
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  1. Leaving
  2. p. 254
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  1. Running for a train
  2. p. 254
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  1. The Welsh poet
  2. p. 255
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  1. Radio: Poetry Reading, NPR
  2. p. 255
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  1. The Tower Roof
  2. p. 256
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  1. For a Woman Dead at Thirty (2)
  2. pp. 256-257
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  1. The Blind Stirring of Love
  2. p. 257
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  1. Little Map
  2. pp. 257-258
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  1. The Drinker
  2. p. 258
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  1. The Drinker (2)
  2. pp. 258-259
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  1. Happiness
  2. p. 259
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  1. Happiness (2): The I Ching
  2. pp. 259-260
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  1. He leaves them
  2. p. 260
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  1. Away from you
  2. pp. 260-261
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  1. Child
  2. p. 261
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  1. Embryo
  2. p. 263
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  1. The Women’s Prison
  2. p. 263
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  1. In the Public Library
  2. pp. 263-264
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  1. Margaret, d. 1985
  2. p. 264
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  1. At the Conference on Women in the Academy
  2. pp. 264-265
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  1. The Orphanage Landing
  2. p. 265
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  1. Reading the Mandelstams
  2. p. 265
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  1. He Says to Me, In Ireland
  2. p. 266
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  1. What God Said
  2. pp. 266-268
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  1. Poetry
  2. p. 268
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  1. The Church
  2. pp. 269-270
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  1. The Locked Ward: O.T.
  2. pp. 270-271
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  1. Single Mother, 1966
  2. pp. 271-272
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  1. Abortion Child
  2. p. 272
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  1. To Ireland
  2. pp. 272-273
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  1. Home
  2. pp. 273-275
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  1. Index of Titles and First Lines
  2. pp. 277-285
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 287
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