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I think of the act of writing a poem as a ritual--the precise timing, the arrangement of the steps following one another until it becomes a whole, an eternal return of the way memory works. The poems are a means of walking--often blindly, hesitantly-into the self as into a cave, vast and complete, and the only light is the flashlight in my hand that shines into a dark corner barely letting me see the images that quickly disappear before the light. The darkness, defining, takes on a life of its own, so that the act of writing becomes listening to the silence within the self as if the past can only be retraced by hand. The central event in the speaker's life is the death of her father. This book is framed by his presence, as the poems in Part 11 are her attempt to hold the past in place.