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The Wild Rose Asylum
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summary
The poems of The Wild Rose Asylum offer a multi-faceted consideration of the historical phenomenon of Ireland’s Magdalen asylums, the largest and most controversial of which were run for 150 years, until 1996, by the Catholic Church. In poems that embrace both traditional and experimental forms, Rachel Dilworth’s work explores complex factors involved in the loss by thousands of Irish women of years of their lives, numerous aspects of their identities, and countless future possibilities to confinement and arduous unpaid laundry labor as “penitents” in these facilities for so-called “fallen” women. Pervaded by a cutting awareness of an incarceration of the spirit, as well as of the beauty and naturalness of so many women’s development being suppressed and denied, these poems navigate individual and collective voice and silences, the held and withheld and disappeared or ignored, with a grace and unflinching attention. Humane and wide-ranging, The Wild Rose Asylum is a researched act of witness to an issue rife with loss—poems that seek to be “bird enough to dive far/into the heart of it and bring up something.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. i-ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. iii-iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. pp. iv-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Author's Note
  2. pp. ix-ix
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  1. The Magdalen Laundries
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. Body Sonnets
  2. pp. 5-5
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  1. Guarded
  2. pp. 6-8
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  1. The Cloistering of Mary Norris
  2. pp. 9-12
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  1. The Heart of the Matter
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Amazing Grace
  2. pp. 15-17
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  1. Research Piece
  2. pp. 18-18
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  1. Falling Away
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. Body Sonnets II. Death of a Maiden
  2. pp. 21-21
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  1. Body Sonnets III. Island
  2. pp. 22-22
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  1. Body Sonnets IV. True to Form
  2. pp. 23-23
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  1. Body Sonnets V. Composition
  2. pp. 24-24
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  1. Body Sonnets VI. Afterwards, the Other
  2. pp. 25-25
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  1. Body Sonnets VII. Escape
  2. pp. 26-26
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  1. Letters to a Girl on Leaving the Home
  2. pp. 27-29
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  1. Five Images of Bliss
  2. pp. 32-35
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  1. Mad Song Stanzas for a Coming of Age
  2. pp. 36-38
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  1. Research Piece:Conversation Regarding the Counseling Helpline FAOISEAMH, 2000
  2. pp. 39-39
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  1. Season's Greetings
  2. pp. 40-42
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  1. Research Piece: Correspondence from "Mrs. Mahony"
  2. pp. 43-43
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  1. A Bildungsroman for the Lads
  2. pp. 44-47
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  1. Wild Fuchsia
  2. pp. 48-50
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  1. Awakening
  2. pp. 51-51
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  1. Fragments of the Shattering Glass
  2. pp. 52-55
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  1. Her Last Immolation
  2. pp. 56-58
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  1. Oh Rose-His Dark Secret Love
  2. pp. 59-62
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  1. Research Piece: Notice in The Standard, January 11, 1935
  2. pp. 63-63
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  1. Kimberlys on the Number Seventeen
  2. pp. 64-67
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  1. Seasonal Villanelle on the Location of My Summer Flat in Forster Place, Forster Street,Galway (former site of the Magdalen Home)
  2. pp. 68-68
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  1. The Glass Lake
  2. pp. 69-70
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  1. Research Piece:Phone Call Following My Letter in The Irish Times
  2. pp. 71-71
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  1. The Butter Urn Resurrection
  2. pp. 72-75
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  1. So Long Imagined
  2. pp. 76-78
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  1. World View
  2. pp. 79-79
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  1. Body Sonnets VIII. The Magdalen
  2. pp. 80-80
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 81-84
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 96-86
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  1. Resources
  2. pp. 87-91
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  1. Akron Series in Poetry
  2. pp. 92-93
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