In "Tradition and the Individual Talent," T. S. Eliot wrote, "[Tradition] cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour." This injunction hovers over these poems. They are working for a tradition--something to belong to. In a sense, the subject of their problem is their work--poetry. Therefore that is the work that has had a need to be done. On the one hand these poems represent three years of working to understand one's own tradition; on the other, they represent the struggle of maintaining one's identity in the face of an ever present lineage. Think of identity ...
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