CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE Though she is a poet, Mary Karr is also well-known as the author of several memoirs in which she relates the details of a difficult, sometimes impoverished childhood. She discussed her childhood in an interview with the Paris Review: Childhood was terrifying for me. A kid has no control. You're three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you awake. You pay keen attention. People can just pick you up and move you and put you down. Our little cracker box of a house could give you the adrenaline rush of fear ….

How do Karr's comments about her childhood affect your response to “Blessing from My Sixteen Years' Son”? Does the knowledge that the poet's childhood was difficult and full of anxiety affect how you view the speaker's relationship with her son?

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