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title

Empire

Poems by Xochiquetzal Candelaria

Publication Year: 2011

Using both lyrical and narrative forms, these concise verses explore a family history set against the larger backdrop of Mexican history, immigration, and landscapes of the Southwest. The poet’s delicate touch lends these poems an organic quality that allows her to address both the personal and the political with equal grace. Straightforward without being simplistic or reductive, these poems manage to be intimate without seeming self-important.

This distinctive collection ranges from the frighteningly whimsical image of Cortés dancing gleefully around a cannon to the haunting and poignant discovery of a dead refugee boy seemingly buried within the poet herself. The blending of styles works to blur the lines between subjects, creating a textured narrative full of both imagination and nuance.

Ultimately, Empire situates individual experience in the wider social context, highlighting the power of poetry as song, performance, testimony, and witness. Addressing themes such as war, family, poverty, gender, race, and migration, Candelaria gives us a dialogue between historical and personal narratives, as well as discreet “conversations” between content and form.

Published by: University of Arizona Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

I

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pp. xi-xii

Mexico, 1910

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pp. 1-3

Migration

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p. 4-4

Primavera

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p. 5-5

Many Years After

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pp. 7-8

Empire #1: Five and Dime Store, 1949

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p. 9-9

A Daughter

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pp. 10-11

Parade

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p. 12-12

1973

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pp. 13-16

Caught in the Eye of the Sun

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p. 17-17

Empire #2: Poet

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p. 18-18

Although You Can Take It—

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p. 19-19

A Question

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p. 20-20

II

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pp. 21-22

Esta Palabra

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pp. 23-24

Sappho

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pp. 25-26

The Report

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p. 27-27

On Language

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pp. 28-29

Between the House and the Hill

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p. 30-30

Boom

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pp. 31-32

The Message

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p. 33-33

Empire #3: Marriage

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p. 34-34

Core Greater Than Three Solar Masses

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pp. 35-36

The Irises

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p. 37-37

Blue Alert

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pp. 38-39

The Novitiate

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p. 40-40

Leda Explains

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p. 41-41

Christmas, 1964

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p. 42-42

Here We Are

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p. 43-43

After Sex

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p. 44-44

III

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pp. 45-46

Chimayo, New Mexico

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pp. 47-48

Quixote

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p. 49-49

The Only Thing I Imagine Luz Villa Admires about Her Husband’s Gun—

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p. 50-50

The Loudspeaker

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pp. 51-53

Empire #4: Mirror

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p. 54-54

Ode to Water

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p. 55-55

Portrait of a Voice

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p. 56-56

Scree

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pp. 57-58

Memory from a Bone Sample

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p. 59-59

Missing Mariachi

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p. 60-60

Combustion

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p. 61-61

The Wild P ink

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p. 62-62

After the Death of Pancho Villa

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p. 63-63

The Last Line

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p. 64-64

Acknowledgments

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pp. 65-66

About the Author

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p. 67-67


E-ISBN-13: 9780816505371
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816528820

Publication Year: 2011

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