Hold Your Fire
Countryman, Elizabeth Katherine
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The poems in this collection dramatize a tension between two worlds: an interior world, in which places and events are used as correlatives of personal conflict; and an exterior world, that is seemingly separate and indifferent. Within these tensions, the poems move by indirection, irony, and injury. The poems' project is to confront the literal with the surreal, symbol with the absurd. The overall movement of the collection is a proposed narrative in which the impersonal is accepted, transformed, intensified, and valued. This narrative is illustrated by way of recurrent themes of childhood memory, romantic separation, and cultural loss.