Linda McCarriston shapes feelings of anger, rage, contempt and healing in her poetry through narration, metaphors with detailed sensory language as she unfolds the painful story of sexual abuse and family abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father. In an interview with Bill Moyers, Linda McCarriston states that "poetry allows the individual experience to strike like lightning through the collective institutional consciousness and to plumb the depths of actual communal experience so that what people don't want said in fact get said". (Moyers p. 272). Her simplest definition of poetry is "heightened speech"; she believes that truly inspired poetry is "extraordinary speech that at times comes through a poet with extraordinary power" (Moyers p. 272). The following two poems strike like lightning; readers experience extraordinary power as they encounter each poem. .
Linda McCarriston's shocking use of language "speaks back to a culture" (Moyers 271) she believes created and sustained the dogma that led to the violence in her household. In her poems, A Castle In Lynn and To Judge Faolain, Dead Long Enough: A Summons the reader becomes acquainted with this poet's experiences of her father as he dominates much of her writings. Ms. McCarriston's poems are a chronology of her pain from childhood to adolescence to adult. The reader gets an intimate look at the human suffering of an alcoholic's family and the refusal of those in power to halt the molestation and beatings. Reading her poems A Castle In Lynn and To Judge Faolain, Dead Long Enough: A Summons, whether or not you have personally experience such horror, the very .
core of your being is moved. Any woman reading her poems feels the brutality, shame, and humiliation inflicted upon her and her mother by her father.
Linda McCarriston uses alliteration, assonance and punctuation throughout her poems that create an atmosphere of anger, rage, contempt and human brokeness.