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Hoops

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  117 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Lush meditations by a poet whose previous book, "Leaving Saturn," was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
In "Hoops," Major Jackson continues to mine the solemn marvels of ordinary lives: a grandfather gardens in a tenement backyard; a teacher unconsciously renames her black students after French painters. The substance of Jackson's art is the representation of
...more
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2006)
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Patrick Faller
Dec 11, 2008 Patrick Faller rated it liked it
Not that I can write a good poem, but Jackson's second effort got me thinking about my role as a writer in this contemporary world, my lineage, and the forces good and bad acting to shape my life of ideas. The book is cut three ways. The first section courses through the basketball-dreams inspired title poem and a score of short lyric reflections on coming of age and responsibility to memory and community. The second section continues the "Urban Renewal" series of Jackson's National Book Critic' ...more
Andrew
Oct 26, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Jackson's book had me constantly smiling with its verbal inventiveness--rhythms evoking Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and (as the September edition of Poetry got just right) early T.S. Eliot--but it goes beyond that, and speaks to something substantial about modern American life and poetry. I'm looking forward to picking up Jackson's two other collections as soon as possible.
Zillah
Apr 09, 2011 Zillah is currently reading it
1. Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.
- Well the book was all poetry and i'm guessing the author wanted people to read his (Major Jackson) feelings in the book instead of him showing it. He wishes to show his feelings in a book then in person.

2. Give enough direct quotation—at least one extended passage—of the book's prose so the review's reader can form his own impression, can get his own taste.
- In page 123 there is th
...more
Patricia Murphy
Jan 09, 2014 Patricia Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
With tight syntax that intensifies musicality, these poems are full of verbs--action occurring as rapidly as allusion, as Gwendolyn Brooks meets Tupac Shakur. Here are some of my favorite moments:

"The whole city is
here swiveling on
a throb."

"the city its own bitter shrine."

"A squeegee blade against your tongue's length.
Most dances are crimes against the face."

Ali
Feb 05, 2016 Ali rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I'm going to have to revisit this; post-surgery was not the right time to tackle this.
Steven
Aug 03, 2008 Steven rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ilidelph resisdentes past & present, hoops fans, hip-hop/jazz heads
A lot of the poems are about philly and playing hoops- how could I not read it? Prolly closer to a 3.5 stars... all the poems are nicely executed, but the style ( a lot of end rhymes) and the need to call out l-a-n-u-a-g-e poetry is not my thing.

Do we really still need to label/classify for the sake of boxing/condemning/criticizing? How about we all just try and write damn good poems and not worry about who is doing what?

Or maybe we can just have silliman and jackson spar ala ben stein style-ha
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Brian Fanelli
May 23, 2009 Brian Fanelli rated it really liked it
Major Jackson's second collection of poems, Hoops, is outstanding. His language is hip and fresh, reflective of the Philadelphia neighborhoods and basketball courts he grew up on as a kid. The most endearing part of this collection, however, is his letters in verse to the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks, Jackson's mentor. As Jackson states so well in verse, in the post-9/11 world, we need more intellectuals like Brooks around to make sense of the madness.
C
Mar 12, 2008 C rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry




"I begin this stop all wrong: you should be
Living at this hour. We need your bolts
& resounding poems like we need Sweet Honey
In the Rock's sacred songs, a revolt
Against plain figurings, new and bold
Metaphors to help us keep people always
In vision, to fight the corporate bug away."

-from "Cecil B. Moore"
Dawn
Dec 13, 2013 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Lively and deep exploration of time and place. Urban beauty, nostalgia, and song. Wonderful!
Laura
Feb 11, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
I went to a reading by Major Jackson. His poems are wonderful, especially when they are read aloud.
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