Triangulating the Marital Dyad
This and the next chapter look at how single poems and sequences triangulate a marriage on behalf of a larger social community. This chapter deals with processes of triangulation that are subjective and psychological. Sharon Olds emphasizes shame in the context of going public with the breakdown of her marriage. In Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree” the protagonist’s impending widowhood becomes a catalyst for self-distantiation. In Claudia Emerson’s Late Wife, a mid-life marriage is triangulated by emotional residue from both partners’ earlier marriages.
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