The Opening of the Field begins with " Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow ", suggesting one interpretation of "Field" in the title.  The book includes short lyric poems, a recurring sequence of prose poems called "The Structure of Rime," and a long poem called "Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar". The long poem draws materials from Pindar , Francisco Goya , Walt Whitman , Ezra Pound , Charles Olson , and the myth of Persephone into an extended visionary and ecstatic fugue in the mode of Pound's Pisan Cantos . [ citation needed ] After Bending the Bow , Duncan vowed to avoid the distraction of publication for fifteen years. His friend and fellow poet Michael Palmer writes about this time in his essay "Ground Work: On Robert Duncan":
The AUTOBIOGRAPHIC NOVEL differs from the thematic memoir in the degree to which it fictionalizes the author’s experiences. Pat Conroy wrote two autobiographic novels, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides , about a boy’s childhood dominated by a father who, like his own, was overbearing and abusive. In both books names and identifying details are fictionalized, but the characters have the problems of Conroy’s actual family members. In The Great Santini the father is a Marine lieutenant, in The Prince of Tides he is a shrimper, but in both novels he instills the same fear in his sons.