I've read some of Sandra Cisneros's fiction before, but this was my first look at her poetry. Wow. I love it. This collection tells a story of sorts, about Cisneros becoming a poet and rejecting the life her parents would have had for her. Along the way there are love affairs and the general pain and joy those things tend to bring.
She uses a lot of short lines and internal rhymes, to great effect, and in some of the poems there's almost a kind of nursery-rhyme cadence that lends itself especially well to reading aloud:
"My first felony--I took up with poetry.For this penalty, the rice burned.
Mother warned I'd never wife.
Wife? A woman like me
whose choice was rolling pin or factory.
An absurd vice, this wicked wanton
Her wicked wanton writer's life makes for a whole lot of poems that almost force you--or me, anyway--to read them out loud, to the bewilderment of my dog. This is a collection I will return to.