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Ruth Stone has rightly been called America's Akhmatova, and she is considered "Mother Poet" to many contemporary writers. In this, her eighth volume, she writes with crackling intelligence, interrogating history from the vantage point of an aging and impoverished woman. Wise, sardonic, crafty, and misleadingly simple, Stone loves heavy themes but loathes heavy poems.ShapesIn the longer view it doesn't matter. However, it's that having lived, it matters. So that every death breaks you apart. You find yourself weeping at the door of your own kitchen, overwhelmed by loss. And you find yourself weeping as you pass the homeless person head in hands resigned on a cement step, the wire basket on wheels right there. Like stopped film, or a line of Vallejo, or a sketch of the mechanics of a wing by Leonardo.

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