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The Wild Rose Asylum

By Rachel Dilworth

Publication Year: 2010

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.

Published by: The University of Akron Press

Cover

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pp. i-ii

Title Page

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p. iii-iii

Copyright

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p. iv-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

Until 1996, and with origins dating back to 1767, residential institutions that came to be known as Magdalen laundries-also called Magdalen asylums, homes, and female penitentiaries-existed in Ireland. Taking their name from Mary Magdalen, Christianity's exemplar of female penitence and redemption, and from the difficult laundry labor required of inmates to finance the institutions, Magdalen laundries were facilities for ...

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Author's Note

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p. ix-ix

The poems in this book grew largely from my experiences of living in Ireland for a year, 1999-2000, to try to learn and write about the highly complex, sensitive, and disturbing issue of the laundries. What happened to individual women, and to so many collectively, moved me again and again beyond words; and it challenged me, as a woman and ...

The Magdalen Laundries

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pp. 3-4

Body Sonnets

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p. 5-5

Guarded

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pp. 6-8

The Cloistering of Mary Norris

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pp. 9-12

The Heart of the Matter

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pp. 13-14

Amazing Grace

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pp. 15-17

Research Piece

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p. 18-18

Falling Away

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pp. 19-20

Body Sonnets II. Death of a Maiden

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p. 21-21

Body Sonnets III. Island

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p. 22-22

Body Sonnets IV. True to Form

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p. 23-23

Body Sonnets V. Composition

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p. 24-24

Body Sonnets VI. Afterwards, the Other

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p. 25-25

Body Sonnets VII. Escape

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p. 26-26

Letters to a Girl on Leaving the Home

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pp. 27-29

Research Piece: Entries in the Admissions Books of the Magdalen Asylum, Leeson Street,Est. 1767 for the Care of Young Protestant Women After a "First Fall"

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pp. 30-31

Five Images of Bliss

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pp. 32-35

Mad Song Stanzas for a Coming of Age

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pp. 36-38

Research Piece:Conversation Regarding the Counseling Helpline FAOISEAMH, 2000

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p. 39-39

Season's Greetings

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pp. 40-42

Research Piece: Correspondence from "Mrs. Mahony"

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p. 43-43

A Bildungsroman for the Lads

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pp. 44-47

Wild Fuchsia

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pp. 48-50

Awakening

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p. 51-51

Fragments of the Shattering Glass

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pp. 52-55

Her Last Immolation

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pp. 56-58

Oh Rose-His Dark Secret Love

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pp. 59-62

Research Piece: Notice in The Standard, January 11, 1935

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p. 63-63

Kimberlys on the Number Seventeen

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pp. 64-67

Seasonal Villanelle on the Location of My Summer Flat in Forster Place, Forster Street,Galway (former site of the Magdalen Home)

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p. 68-68

The Glass Lake

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pp. 69-70

Research Piece:Phone Call Following My Letter in The Irish Times

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p. 71-71

The Butter Urn Resurrection

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pp. 72-75

So Long Imagined

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pp. 76-78

World View

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p. 79-79

Body Sonnets VIII. The Magdalen

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p. 80-80

Notes

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pp. 81-84

Acknowledgments

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pp. 96-86

Resources

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pp. 87-91

Akron Series in Poetry

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pp. 92-93


E-ISBN-13: 9781937378035
E-ISBN-10: 1937378039
Print-ISBN-13: 9781931968614
Print-ISBN-10: 1931968616

Page Count: 91
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Akron Series in Poetry
Series Editor Byline: Mary Biddinger, Editor

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Subject Headings

  • Women -- Institutional care -- Poetry.
  • Institutional care -- Ireland -- Poetry.
  • Reformatories for women -- Ireland -- Poetry.
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