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Island of the Three Marias Essay

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A widely published poet and fiction writer, Semansky teaches literature atPortland Community College. In the following essay, Semansky examines how "Island of the ThreeMarias" explores non-Christian ideas of suffering and martyrdom.

"Island of the Three Marias" is a mysterious poem resonant with Christian imagery and symbolism. It is effective because it leaves out more than it says. Ríos plays with prominent Judeo-Christian ideas about redemption and suffering, using theIsland of the Three Marias, home to a Mexican federal prison, as his setting, but he gives the poem its air of mystery, of magic, by leaving much to the reader's imagination.

As a poet who mines the real world of places, things, and events for stories he can imbue with an otherworldly feel and mythic significance, Ríos belongs to that group of writers sometimes referred to as magical realists. Taking their lead from Latin American...

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This section contains 1,532 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Island of the Three Marias Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Island of the Three Marias from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.