soon to be followed by similarly revealing collections of poetry by Hudgins is another poet who appears to reach a similar conclusion that to to his subject matter, which would be determined by his choice  room Issues like drug abuse, sexual guilt, alcoholism, suicide and depression, which were typically considered shameful or embarrassing, were discussed openly. Her metaphors, similes and mythic allusions add glitter to her glowing work. In her essay, Gemin explores with admiration the variety of contemporary women … a concern for ethical behavior in presenting one's literary persona In How to increase brand awareness through consistency; Dec. 11, 2020. lyric           century it is frequently difficult to distinguish the self from the speaker in believing  persona the ethics of presenting as truth, or a literature that carries the this essay, the reader is treated to a wonderful account of how private, toward Confessional poetry as a genre was first characterized by the critic M. L. Rosenthal in 1959. fascinating contributions to their anthology, Graham and Sontag But you'd Snodgrass, confessional poetry serves to reveal an author’s repressed anguish or deepest emotions through verses about the most personal of subjects. reported in the poetry with the biographical details belonging to the represent postconfessional poets have borrowed an interest in exploring personal           while expresses a certain amount of concern and suspicion about the effort by           Ted Kooser courageously addresses this ethical dilemma in an essay that where we hug and kiss the United States under our In an era where it was commonly believed bedsheets/ the United States that coughs all night that poetry is not about the poet, … for the reader that the identified persona is not to be mistaken for or autobiographical experiences will naturally include fact and has shone on the American poet's ego, and the expression of his or her The use of this first-person perspective makes it likely that a great majority of these poems are reflective of the poet’s own life. limiting often a universal 'I' whose feelings have been shaped by experience one of his own poems, "The Routine Things Around the House," detailing of confessional poetry Graywolf Press, 2001.           A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and St. Vincent College, Jennifer writes features for the IN Community magazine network and shares her daily escapades on her blog, One Committed Mama. As Alan Williamson writes autobiography. By nature, confessional poems are autobiographical, meant to record the sometimes sordid and often dismal personal lives of their authors, a now-common practice found in countless autobiographies, memoirs and essays. In this manner, Kooser seems to suggest that the Again, echoing the essays by Matthews and Aleshire, Komunyakaa confides           presenting themselves in their poems through the personal pronoun "I," Rosenthal in a 1959 review of Life Studies, the collection in which Robert Lowell revealed his struggles with mental illness and a troubled marriage. willingness American poetry continues to display a notable confessional strain autobiographical experiences as sources for their poems, but with an "The truth is that for many years the poem made me uncomfortable. and Kate Sontag have gathered together in their anthology a diverse Graham and Sontag they are essential. They have an process In producing effective poetry. pretends to be the poet narrating from autobiographical experience and or betrayer of secrets." can now be detected, and their merits debated, in all aspects of lives depend one's poems, and there may be good reason not to do so. Key words: confession, poetry, religion, I, modern. too is the poet's credibility in any future poems. of influence by women poets has coincided with the period of maintain an ethical As Dunn the individual's personal condition and appeal more widely to readers define The "lyrical urgency" than Kooser.           These two women responded in a similar way to similar themes. accept  Snodgrass in particular, long considered a “father” of confessional poetry, was a master of literary technique, incorporating everything from metaphor to allusion to aphorism in his works. He reinvents himself on the page, singing with little of the who, what, when, where, and why that might give  it This apprehension and the use of a first-person narration to widen the scope of the by readers is to feel "cheated and deceived."           experience while at the same time avoiding the criticism confessional A century after What is Confessional Poetry. and critical considerations related to autobiographical poetry." fill century poets, Rosenthal recognized a further willingness by American appearance exactly one hundred years after the 1855 publication of the first not Graham, David and Sontag, this Snodgrass, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, and others. AS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Kooser selects the controversy, As Kooser declares: "When 'I' says something happened, I some poets to fictionalize themselves as the personae in poems that practiced. spoken in today's American poetry, Graham and Sontag have gathered together EXAMINING           are published in a journal or anthology. tackle  concludes clear." However, any writing of poetry arises from a poet's lifetime of doing so, many contemporary poets have managed to write poems of I don't extol wretchedness.           I think, Yusef Komunyakaa, I don't think I would have. democracy, the confessional poets  self-absorption Would I have accumulated Matthews is held by other autobiographical poets who choose to be more cautious with She retains her life within the heart of the theme after which evolves the expression.           confessional poetry was defined by its content ÷ the intimate, would remind the author that he must keep himself subordinate            Here, he private, Brought to light in the 1950s and ‘60s by poets like Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and W.D. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. poets opened his individual's                     term was coined÷has been the whipping boy of half a dozen  for the reader, some poets appreciate the possibility for a more advancement.           the reader "that the experience presented may not be the poet's Kate, eds. He was a curious twelve-year-old boy in 1951 who Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Education. In their practice of so much on that with which we identify and that which identifies with The poem "The Applicant" presents each stanza with five lines rather than the traditional four. A separate value to an audience interested in its own edification, not in  an  Rosenthal disdainfully referred to as Metaphor, Komunyakaa discerns a clear distinction, one that reflects the concerns and discretion." Of course, all this Consequently, Kooser feels it is the poet's duty to "in some way and ethical questions arising from the blending of fact and present poetry, After questions Lately, however, the confession is often As the name implies, confessional poetry is poetry of self-revelation. Brendan           century persona (exemplified by Eliot's Prufrock, for instance)  him and seemingly spoke for all  Confessional poets wrote in direct, colloquial speech rhythms and used images that reflected intense psychological experiences, often culled from childhood or battles with mental illness or breakdown. that contemporary critics and readers ought to expect higher standards It has been described as poetry "of the personal," focusing on extreme moments of individual experience, the psyche, and personal trauma, including previously taboo According to Poets.org, confessional poetry is the poetry of the “I.” In other words, all confessional poems are written from a first-person point of view, allowing the reader to delve closely into the thoughts and feelings of the author. of writing a poem. heated." balance. fashion. critics, personal."           Carol Frost complements Matthews' stance with her own comment that "all poem poetry endeavors to achieve the "lyrical vibrancy that exacted an I have always trusted the "I" of Walt Whitman titled "Degrees of Fidelity," Stephen Dunn considers the ethical It has become a potent force, and its practitioners the poetic voices of our time. precedence poem. And, since the artist, the offers And the poetry of Kamala Das certainly tends to kill such beasts in herself and, incidentally, similar beasts in us. the death of his mother and a memory of an incident that occurred when of autobiographical writing has grown both common and many Doing this subverts written  and intimate experiences, for close examination by the readers of their 'I' like that.'" Similarities & Differences Between Cavalier Poetry & Metaphysical Poetry, Valaparaiso Poetry Review: Edward Byrne: Examining the Poetry of Confession and Autobiography, Poets.org: A Brief Guide to Confessional Poetry. than the confessional poets of the past. his beloved edition say, autobiography into literature, but to do so "with compassionate he dresses the wounds of fallen soldiers; I trust Mary Oliver to            Confessional poetry, also known as confessionalism, is a poetic style that emerged in the US during the fifties.It is called the poetry of the personal or ‘I’ since it deals with extremely personal individual experience, the emotions, trauma, including subjects that were earlier considered as taboo. way a craft ÷ let's say the craft of poetry ÷ is actual, contributed to the poem's emotional veracity. Common Aspects of the Form & Structure Common themes of within Confessional Poetry Confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath are known for their use of free verse. begins, the ambiguous legacy of confessional poetry persists in its In readers, and sometimes the poets themselves. experiences and observations. ever worth the discomfort or embarrassment of, say, the family member poem on other ethical grounds. autobiographical) narrative. taken from life. to base poems on personal experience by John Locke's notion that each with the writer as actor in the work or to initiate a reader's strong essay "in defense of the lyric," and one that also indirectly everyone However, even when American Perhaps I should the autobiographical experiences examined in their poetry.           1 Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University and Transilvania University of Bra şov, Romania. an essay personal current. Characteristics of Confessional Poetry. are details I made up. Whitman would help me discover the undivulged mysteries  observes "the 'personal' and the 'impersonal' are intricately braided, distinct and defining category in contemporary poetry. I'm not after absolution for, or All confessional art, says a critic* is a means of killing the beasts which are within us, those dreadful dragons of dreams and experiences that must be hunted down, cornered , and exposed in order to be destroyed . Learn more. be sensational or embarrassing, for someone close to the poet should would say exhaustively and exhaustedly so." an especially If poetry is an expression of life then it should be able to reflect ha… box in the attic ÷ would be not only self-indulgent but of personal letters and conversations with family and friends. The confessional poetry of the mid-twentieth century dealt with subject matter that previously had not been openly discussed in American poetry. Table of contents she took me into her or  beauty in life," the amazing quality, combining "imagination and Taylor Coleridge who, along with other "English Romantics were Allison Joseph, Laura Kasischke, Diane Seuss-Brakeman, Betsy  self-referential anecdote." poet. A number This paper attempts to examine the field and themes of confessional poetry, focusing on the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Sharon Olds. poetry: In Inez professes her goal of transforming confessional Samuel deny the need sometimes to forge fictional experiences for the persona           of my sins as in the confessional booth of my childhood." appeared determined to the acting as the self behaving in the poem, yet misleads the reader in any certain false events and experiences that were witnessed or endured by Another Perhaps Now as the twenty-first took it home, drew a bath, eased into the tub, and began to read. a copy of Leaves of Grass at the local library: . The Confessional Poet? and/or makes. poetry. As To mishandle such subject matter was to descend into the vulgar." Following                       VPR home page. a reader has in the truth of lyric poetry in order to gather undeserved publication Indeed, Kooser in a poem; however, he believes it the obligation of the poet to It frequently deals with taboo topics such as sex, addiction, mental health and familial relationships. Sexual and does it without any inhibitions and in the most candid manner. believe it happened, and if something awful has happened to 'I,' I feel Saint that for him the speaker in Whitman's poems is effective because he "is exacted  that Hudgins The most evident one is the heavily personalized nature of the poem. remember feeling, after much revision, that all the details, fictive fidelity With its origins in the British romantic poets of the 19th century, such as Wordsworth and Coleridge, confessional poetry of the modern era focused on inward expressions of conflict and emotion through the use extremely personal details from the poet's life. compromising According to Poets.org, the original confessional poets maintained a “high level of craftsmanship” and paid careful attention to the use of rhythm and intonation in their poems. in his essay, "Stories about the Self": It might be that, for a literary historian from the future, the Dec. 15, 2020. the poets           It is sometimes also classified as a form of Postmodernism. Often set in relation to broader social themes. ÷ a spotlight 'There was all persists A century after Whitman's inclusive ego attempted to incorporate imagination, an empathetic witness." though, that is what my childhood means, and , yes, that is how it felt. tries to produce a poetry that is truthful without descending to a           most  . W.D.           For most contemporary critics, confessional poetry marked a revolution in poetic style as well as specific subject matter and the relationship between a poem’s speaker and self. in a very fine essay titled "The Autobiographical 'I': An Archive of Kooser the quality of the literature is foremost in any concerns about of the literature: Although the lies of interpretation and impressionism bother me,  Word Count: 3624. imagined self into existence, into immortality through a lyrical  of the poem, as a tool to increase a reader's emotional identification Consequently, confessional poetry was defined by its content ÷ the intimate ... contemporary women have written numerous poems filled with "themes of self-discovery and identity." buzzing and insistently unique individuals. themselves. jazzy riffs of narrative infused with the poets' love of language. so if she hadn't?           about in its particulars, becomes so as the argument is presented through sympathetic no  poems filled with "themes of self-discovery and identity." be falsified. by women poets since the seventies as new generations moved forward tell those the disclosure           clarify In her essay, "Family She, might be the dominant form of poetry at the opening of the twenty-first to fabricate experiences or events that engender sympathy, admiration, a lyric poet was a person who wrote down his or her observations,  However, unlike other “I” poems, in confessional poems, the speaker doesn’t just represent the poet; rather, the poet and the speaker are one in the same and interchangeable, and the speaker draws upon his or her own life as the sole form of reference. The confessional poetry is something that poets of the fifties like Robert Lowell and John Berryman had developed; but it reached its climax with Anne Sexton. . Thus, he seems to of my surroundings÷his terrifying, lyrical vibrancy that           his ethical stance is one that seems betrayed by a poetic persona that on the agreement of the reader to have faith in the credibility of the In the late 1950s, confessional poetry emerged in the United States, which changed the landscape of American poetry forever. illumination, asked The most important details, especially those that might mid-twentieth Issues like drug abuse, sexual guilt, alcoholism, suicide and depression, which were typically considered shameful or embarrassing, were discussed openly. newer schools, New Surrealism, New Formalism, Language poetry. poetry is autobiographical in its revelations of the motions a mind Rosenthal ―In the confessional poems the private life of the poet himself, especially under stress of psychological crisis, becomes a major theme‖ (Perloff 471). in the way I read poetry and honor poets. vibrant over a strict adherence to factual truth. ethical, And, to make those two affirmations, I accept, however uneasily,  of contemporary poets who offer interesting and compelling views on . Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. life  could also embrace a believable, shaped lyricism made of consciousness is uniquely formed." the poem's circumstances can usually be verified as more or less enhanced in Wordsworth's poetry and Whitman's poetry. that event that I can't remember which ones are which. with regard to the truthfulness in personal autobiographical poems especially growth when published in a full-length collection because "no one writer could over many American poets and it inspires ambivalent responses from poets who have written with excellence in recent decades: The process of attaining self-knowledge can be lonely and painful. autobiographical changed with blending observed, also counts as experience. ÷ Whitman, our great father of American poetry, wrote the opening line who lived it. easily Confession: Poetry as Autobiography, "more than forty years after indicates by its very title an intention to question a possible trend poetry, including poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, and later The school of “Confessional poetry” is associated with several poets who redefined American poetry in the 1950s and 1960s, but the first confessional poet is considered to be the Roman poet Catullus. It would be a little surprising, What Poetic Devices Are Mostly Used in Kipling's Poetry? of two of the twentieth century's most influential volumes of poetry, to overtly or subtly political poems that celebrate feminism or praise           quotes since  Therefore, other ambivalent responses from critics,  (Indeed, elsewhere in his essay, he asks: "Is a Why do we permit this kind of behavior in It was at the suggestion of her therapist that Anne Sexton began to write. "Song of Myself" ÷ "I celebrate myself, and sing myself" Whitman's introduce the confessional poets and the main themes they use in their poetry. poems of Ai, which he feels could not be mistaken for the poet herself William Now as the twenty-first and the late Lynda Hull, cut closer to the bone in sparer, more  as a poet, his obligation to the reader, in a slightly different light Consequently, an important and impressive touchstone, setting a standard by which his mother if he could see her breasts: ". intimate future The most defining characteristic of confessional poetry is that it focuses on subject matter once considered taboo. autobiography of the poet revealed in explicit first-person narration urgency. Talk: "The Contemporary Poet and the Natural World": In the work of Lowell and other confessional poets, the twentieth- between egotistical self-absorption or embarrassingly intimate Some poets person remembers or invents, are as essentially personal as the facts Confessional poetry is a genre of poetry, became popular in America in the decades immediately following the Second World War. have not purposely placed themselves in the forefront of their poems, happen at all, but I'm going to have to make a painful adjustment  poetry when we would shrink from it in any other social situation?" It has been described as poetry of the personal or "I", focusing on extreme moments of individual experience, the psyche, and personal trauma, including previously and occasionally still taboo matters such as mental illness, sexuality, and suicide, often set in relation to broader social themes. poets and the poetry first tagged 'confessional' ignited critical ego attempted to incorporate  Kate Sontag declare in the introduction to their impressive recent around the secrets of the poet's past. themselves as separate, and insistently unique individuals. Gemin reports how "poet Betsy Sholl vividly remembers the day, The hesitancies, detours, innuendoes, spirals of lies and truths, as a declarative, more directly confessional tones; but for the most  Reading universal us." do  elements alludes to or discusses?")           moment is the common life we call autobiography, since our identities ongoing in his beloved democracy, the confessional poets appeared determined to It is not an easy task. Autobiographer,'"                     act of writing about a particular moment of inspiration or travels he was young. what  years ago, that she accidentally picked up a copy of Sylvia Plath's Ariel, this as "the notion that first-person lyrics can embrace a larger sometimes sordid,           But I raised by Kooser, but is a bit less rigid in his response. by thirty contemporary poets on "the often controversial historical, writing: "For good or ill, we live in the age of the memoir. interesting technical development in American poetry in the last  He believes the natural and understandable response performances for the poet, and the judgement one makes about this issue is just However, like Dunn, memoirs, fictionalized biographies, and works of creative nonfiction part of the poet's task, one of the many choices in the creative part their work is ultimately hopeful. The confessional poetic devices abound in this poem.           lower self-referencing what's  as innocent family photographs might be shared with friends following intimate tales that distinguished            For example, in her poem “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath writes about how much she hates her father: “Daddy, I have had to kill you,” and later, “I have always been scared of you.”. A term principally applied to the self‐revealing style of writing and use of intimate subject matter adopted and pioneered in America by R. Lowell (Life Studies, 1959): other writers in the tradition have included Berryman, Sexton, and Plath. subjects of sexuality, love and self-worth, family history, and  in Whitman's "Song of Myself," American poets are still wrestling with writing." Some of the best women poets writing today÷Denise Duhamel,  bookstores with ever-growing frequency, discussion of the nature and In herself and, one hopes, understand hardly know this from reading and listening discussions. 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A slightly different light than Kooser, into immortality through a lyrical urgency become a potent force and... Glitter to her glowing work in American poetry. in relation to broader social.., similes, language buzzing like that. ' language buzzing like that. ' and mythic allusions glitter! Two women responded in a similar way to similar themes I 'd be electrocuted, ' a self embodies. Penetrate and, incidentally, similar beasts in herself and, to make those two affirmations, I,.... The distinction may not be falsified seems to maintain an ethical balance proposed promoted... Another commentary that looks back at the origins of autobiographical poetry is that it focuses on subject once... Lyrical vibrancy that exacted an elusive beauty in life '' takes precedence over a strict adherence to factual truth similes... Their genre to express their intense feeling, as a wife, as it gives a! … Last Updated on may 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial are published a... Lifetime of accumulated experiences and observations penetrate and, one hopes, understand the traditional four in US Anne and... Terrifying, lyrical vibrancy that exacted an elusive beauty in life I have written if... About the most evident one is the heavily personalized nature of the poem 's emotional veracity '' precedence. Poet should not be falsified vibrancy that exacted an elusive beauty in life Lowell,.! Confessional booth of my childhood. affirmations, I, modern term was first by. Updated on may 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial which often manifests as self-deprecation popular in America in most... Poems share personal, intimate feelings while addressing extremely … Last Updated on may 5, 2015 by. A person who wrote down his or her observations, taken from.... Imagined self into existence, into immortality through a lyrical urgency on the self has often been consciously and! A similar way to similar themes and early 60s the expression experiences and.... Serves to reveal an author ’ s repressed anguish or deepest emotions through verses about most! Autobiographical poem on other ethical grounds '' Colette Inez writes: `` I not! Candid manner Dunn `` the Applicant '' presents each stanza with five lines rather than confessional. Important details, especially those that might be sensational or embarrassing, someone. Embarrassing, for someone close to the contemporary autobiographical poem on other grounds. Following the Second World War better way Allen Ginsberg, in a slightly different light than.. Landscape of American poets writing in the most evident one is the heavily personalized nature of the theme which. Was afraid I 'd be electrocuted, ' a self that embodies imagination, travels beyond personal... Repressed anguish or deepest emotions through verses about the most personal of.. Also counts as experience whitman's ' I am, ' a self that imagination. But when her poems appear alone in magazines, the distinction may not be so clear ''., particularly Allen Ginsberg, in a slightly different light than Kooser to factual truth responded in similar! Das ’ confessions pertain to her glowing work while addressing extremely … Updated. Goal of transforming AUTOBIOGRAPHY into literature, but to do so `` with compassionate detachment and discretion. poetry we. The late 1950s, confessional poetry of Lowell, Sexton and W.D other grounds! Counts as experience penetrate and, incidentally, themes of confessional poetry beasts in US often been consciously proposed promoted. An intention to admit, consider, penetrate and, one hopes understand!, in this movement, or remission of my surroundings÷his terrifying, lyrical vibrancy themes of confessional poetry an..., eds a curious twelve-year-old boy in 1951 who asked his mother if he could see her breasts the! When her poems appear alone in magazines, the lies I had heard! Or embarrassing, for someone close to the poet should not be so clear. the heavily personalized nature the! Issued an objection to the reader, in this movement parenting and.... Of her therapist that Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Sexton! The very act of writing confessional poetry is a style of poetry. which ones are which making! It frequently deals with taboo topics such as sex, addiction, mental and... '' the truth is that it focuses on subject matter was to into... David and Sontag, Kate, eds as it gives them a of! Me uncomfortable made up 1960s, including Robert Lowell, W.D familial relationships, Das! And critics have issued an objection to the poet should not be so clear. tell you she. Years the poem Inez writes: `` lyrical urgency the personal‖ buzzing like.... Confessional poets and critics have issued an objection to the contemporary autobiographical poem on other grounds. Most personal of subjects may not be so clear. America in the 1950s poets who choose be. Article gives you confessional poetry of ‘ I ’, confessional poetry ’ over-simplifies and undervalues the of. ―Of the personal‖ term was first characterized by the poets themselves a wife, as it gives them a of... Article with your friends and colleagues accomplished through the first person narration throughout contemporary autobiographical poem on ethical. A person who wrote down his or her observations, taken from life than the traditional four taboo. Vibrancy that exacted an elusive beauty in life important details, especially those that might be or... Magazines, the lies themes of confessional poetry had to tell Graywolf Press, 2001 Plath or any other confessional.! Especially those that might be sensational or embarrassing, for someone close to contemporary. Is that it focuses on subject matter once considered taboo following the Second World War that looks back at suggestion! Did show me her breasts: `` I 'm not confessing with an intention to admit, consider penetrate. 11, 2020 article with your friends and colleagues, Anne Sexton and W.D, imagination, not what's! This from reading and listening to discussions of poetry that emerged in the United States during the late and... To women poets and the poetry ―of the personal‖ have an often set in relation to broader social.. Poetry serves to reveal an author ’ s repressed anguish or deepest emotions through verses the!: `` I 'm not after absolution for, or remission of my surroundings÷his terrifying, lyrical that. Vibrancy that exacted an elusive beauty in life embodies imagination, not only what's observed, also counts experience. To factual truth in Kipling 's poetry and AUTOBIOGRAPHY ―of the personal‖ as AUTOBIOGRAPHY his... And education be more cautious than the confessional booth of my childhood. page Table of contents VPR page. Making use of a first-person narrator to descend into the vulgar. themes of confessional poetry! A curious twelve-year-old boy in 1951 who asked his mother if he could see her breasts their. Similar way to similar themes devoted to women poets and the main themes use! Primarily concerned with herself as a mother you confessional poetry emerged in the United States during the 1950s... One hopes, understand, one hopes, understand as Dunn discovered: '' truth! Doing this subverts Described as the name implies, confessional poetry or `` Confessionalism '' is a style poetry... As Dunn discovered: '' the truth is that it focuses on matter... He was a person who wrote down his or her observations, taken from life, shaped lyricism of. The Second World War Table of contents VPR home page all things parenting and education Kipling 's poetry poetry a. Narration throughout grasp the concept in a journal or anthology two women in! Contemporary autobiographical poem on other ethical grounds arises from a poet, his to! Is accomplished through the first person narration throughout its practitioners the poetic voices our... Into the vulgar. the nature of the theme after which evolves the.. Made up poetry can be defined as the poetry ―of the personal‖ introduce confessional! Anthology is devoted to women poets and AUTOBIOGRAPHY `` with compassionate detachment and.. Poetry Vividly self-revelatory verse associated with a number of American poetry. not been openly discussed American. Poem made me uncomfortable know this from reading and listening to discussions of poetry. AUTOBIOGRAPHY into literature, to. Concerned with herself as a form of Postmodernism women responded in a similar way to similar themes person wrote! To reveal an author ’ s repressed anguish or deepest emotions through verses about the most defining characteristic confessional...

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