Alegría’s poem “Accounting” is an accounting of the important events of her life. The first few lines tell the reader that the poem’s author remembers certain events in her life that she defines as “electrical instants.” What follows are vignettes from the author’s memory, beginning with her childhood recollections. Alegría’s memories make the leap from skipping puddles to losing her virginity in only a few lines. She also recalls painful memories—the death of her mother, the assassination of Archbishop Romero, and the occupation of Nicaragua. Coupled with memories of loss are memories of love. Alegría compresses a lifetime of events into the few moments that a reader takes to study the poem. She dissolves the barrier of time and reduces her existence into twenty-six lines.
It is sometimes a mistake to assume the author and the poem’s narrator are one person, but in this case, there are several clues that indicate that Alegría is offering autobiographical details from her own life in this poem. The speaker of the poem tells the reader that she is sixty-eight years old, and Alegría would have been sixty-eight when the poem was written. Because Alegría relied upon her husband, Darwin Flakoll, to translate her books from Spanish into English, the publication date would be at least a year after the poem’s composition, and so the reader can assume that “Accounting” was written in 1992, although not...
(The entire section is 2116 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Accounting Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!