Critical Overview

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 216

“Island of the Three Marias” appears in Five Indiscretions . Although the poem itself hasn’t received much critical attention, a few publications reviewed the collection. José David Saldívar writes that “most of the poems achieve a level of excellence not far below the peak moments in his earlier poetry.” Lawrence...

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“Island of the Three Marias” appears in Five Indiscretions. Although the poem itself hasn’t received much critical attention, a few publications reviewed the collection. José David Saldívar writes that “most of the poems achieve a level of excellence not far below the peak moments in his earlier poetry.” Lawrence Joseph notes that “Five Indiscretions displays the breadth and richness of the American language—a language which requires and will require complex techniques.” Rochelle Ratner claims that Ríos “offers the insights into the lives of women seldom found in the work of a male writer.” Adrián Pérez Melgosa praises the book, writing that “[Five Indiscretions] traces a genealogy of the seemingly capricious or irrational behavior of human beings by exploring how this behavior develops as a result of the experiences each person goes through in the secrecy of his or her most intimate moments…. [The poems] focus on processes of discovery, of learning from the experiences and stories of people, a learning that is not calculated according to a goal that has to be achieved but that is driven by a mixture of desire and chance.” Melgosa claims that “No Chicano poet writing today is a more exquisite—a more fastidiously deliberate—technician than Ríos. His poetry is always lavishly textured.”

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Essays and Criticism