Throughout "Twenty-One Love Poems," which form the structural center of The Dream of a Common Language, Manhattan serves as the alienating setting, representing the violent world which the lovers must inhabit, yet seek to transform with love and relationship. Just as H. D. started the Trilogy with her impressions of destruction on walking through her London neighborhood after a bombing raid, Rich began poem I of "Twenty-One Love Poems" with a walk through the city which produces images of violence. . . .
From Signs (1983).