Rebecca Grace's Reviews > The Woman I Kept to Myself

The Woman I Kept to Myself by Julia Alvarez
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

really liked it

The Woman I Kept to Myself by Julia Alvarez is an intensely personal collection of poems, detailing Alvarez's childhood and adulthood. She hides nothing from her readers and appears to be using this collection to explore the different stages of her life, from being called a "Spic" as a child to asking her family and country if she has managed redeem herself from past transgressions.

As a poet, I found it particularly interesting that every single poem in this collection is thirty lines long, with three stanzas of ten lines each. With such a rigid structure, I expected the poetry to start feeling similar as I progressed through the seventy-five poems. However, this didn't happen and by the time I reached "Did I Redeem Myself?" I had been completely captivated by Alvarez's style.

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