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Entering History : Poems (Hardcover) (Mary Stewart Hammond)
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Entering History opens on a middle-aged couple, whose relationship weaves throughout the collection. In “Portrait of My Husband Reading Henry James,” the poet paints her husband using syntax and language that evoke James’s. In “Venasque,” the wintry village serves as a metaphor for the existential crisis facing the couple. Mary Stewart Hammond then bends the narrative arc backward, closing Entering History where it began, with the couple, now older, harkening back to the bed they shared when they were newlyweds. FROM “ENTERING HISTORY” The door to the poem opens in, and a couple enter, set down their luggage, and stand, backs to the door, silhouetted against the light, taking in the room. They step through French doors in the far wall and out onto a balcony cantilevered over ramparts. The vast impastoed Umbrian kingdom swoops away and down before them.