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In “La Livre De Ma Vie” Mary Ruefle makes use of several structural elements that are imperative to creating emphasis on particular content elements of the poem. The first stanza, which sets up the terms and questions of a vague relationship, is the only stanza of the poem that is not a couplet. The following stanza, “Mr. Potato Head / Mr. Potato Head,” uses repetition to somewhat answer the posed question of the first stanza, but then also to set up the imperatively phrased request of the third stanza. The lack of punctuation in the second stanza is important for that reason as well. From that point forward, the poem becomes a sort of instructional imperative, with the speaker providing the subject with materials, and then asking or instructing the subject on how to react or what it is the speaker would like from the subject’s behavior. For example, “Remove the pipe from your mouth / and smile,” and, “Help me behave, / weeping in the dark earth.”

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