Mastectomy Essay

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Perkins is a professor of twentieth-century American and English literature and film. In this essay, she explores Ostriker’s focus on the transforming power of poetry.

The title of Alicia Ostriker’s collection of poems The Crack in Everything alludes to an interpretation found in the writings of the Kabbala, a mystical Jewish doctrine that includes stories of the creation of the world. One such story focuses on the cracking of the vessel, representing the world, into which the first light was poured. Humans were directed by God to repair the brokenness of the world. The title also refers to a line from a song by Leonard Cohen, which Ostriker uses for the collection’s epigraph: “There is a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” Both of these allusions relate to the theme of the...

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This section contains 1,370 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mastectomy Study Guide
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