When writing a collection of poems, most poets chose to focus on maintaining certain themes throughout their literature and Cornelius Eady is not an exception. Cornelius Eady’s collection of poems in Brutal Imagination focus on issues such as racism, family crisis, internal conflict, and death. The first part of the collection circles around a servant who works for Susan Smith and is the caretaker for her children. The story centers around the perspective of the servant who is also the overarching narrator. The story describes old version of United States when racism was still bluntly present and affected individuals identities and financial opportunities. Based off the information presented in the collection, the servant can possibly be male. The general plot follows deeply into the difficult life of the male servant through examining the issues he faces. The first poem within the collection set-ups the rest of the story with context for the readers giving them a few expectations about what they should look forward to reading further. Eady draws the reader through integrating an origin for the male servant and his connection to Susan Smith’s family.
In the first poem one titled “How I Got Born”, the narrator describes himself as a person with a partial significant life. Eady uses phrases such as “piecemeal”, and “willed me alive” to convey a message that the narrator is different and as an insignificant life form to Susan Smith. The word “piecemeal” is a colloquial