As I perceive it, the most influential poem of the book is, of course,"Faithful and Virtuous Night" 8 out of 24 poems in the poetry book refer to either the characters or the plot of this poem. In comparing "Faithful and Virtuous Night", "Theory of Memory', and "A Sharply Worded Silence" the child or the child/mother theme can be seen; ( Faithful & Virtuous Night ) "How deep it goes, this soul, like a child in a department store, seeking its mother"; ( "Theory of Memory" ) "Right now, you are a child holding hands with a fortune teller........"; ( "A Sharply Worded Silence" ) -so I realized, my mother used to speak to me in sharply worded silences cautioning me and chastising me......
A beautiful description for me in Faithful & Virtuous Night was "Outside, night was falling. Was it the lost night, star covered, moon-light spattered, like some chemical preserving everything immersed in it?". This brings to mind T.S. Elliot for me.
A common element in the next three poems could be family / death. ("Visitors From Abroad") Or was it not the phone, but the door (that rang) perhaps? My mother and father stood in the cold on the front steps... We read your books in heaven....and they pointed to my dead sister, a complete stranger." ( "Aboriginal Landscape" ) "Your stepping on your father, my mother said, and indeed I was........You're stepping on your father, she repeated, louder this time, which began to be strange to me,since she was dead herself......("Utopia") "It will be the right train, said the woman, because it is the right time........How terrified I am, the child thinks, clutching the yellow tulips she will give her grandmother.
A beautiful poetic description in "Visitors From Abroad" is: Who calls in the middle of the night? Trouble calls, despair calls. joy is sleeping like a baby