Reunions with a Ghost Criticism

Ai
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"Reunions with a Ghost" was first published in Ai's fourth collection of poetry, Fate (1991), where it was overshadowed by the new direction that the poet's work was taking. Most of the poems in Fate are dramatic monologues written from the point of view of famous figures in American culture, such as General Custer, Lenny Bruce, Jimmy Hoffa, and James Dean, and it was those poems that tended to catch the attention of reviewers. They stand in contrast to the narrator of "Reunions with a Ghost," who is an unnamed, ordinary woman, not an icon of American culture. In this respect, "Reunions with a Ghost" is closer to Ai's earlier work, in books such as Cruelty (1973) and Killing Floor (1979), which contain many poems written from the point of view of anonymous narrators who endure difficult lives.

Reviewers expressed reservations about the effectiveness of many of the dramatic monologues of the famous...

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This section contains 263 words
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Poetry for Students
Reunions with a Ghost from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.