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The book seems to progress in a way that takes the reader deeper and deeper into the inner workings of the colony, starting with poems from the perspective of an outsider and progressing to poems from perspectives of patients and workers. Nature seems to be used as a tool to create the idea that the world is a harsher place for the people who are patients of the colony. For example, “every season is too much of itself…the snow bears on the dogwood branches until they clatter to the ground like felled bodies” and “bowing in an absent wind”. Themes of darkness and longing are present throughout the book. There was also a trend of using word associations to introduce the reader to the inner reality of the speaker which I thought was genius, and a┬átrend of starting poems out in a “this is how it is” sort of way, which I found enjoyable.

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