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Gathering the Tribes

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  247 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The language and images of Carolyn Forche's poetry are so closely bound to the natural cycles of the seasons, of generations, of the body's functioning, that it is surprising to realize how many of her poems deal with uprootedness - hasty emigrations from Czechoslovakia and Kiev, the loss of grandparents and other elders, people leaving and being sent away.
Paperback, 74 pages
Published September 10th 1976 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 1976)
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J. Patrick Bennett
Nov 30, 2012 J. Patrick Bennett rated it it was amazing
Carolyn Forché's poetry has me by the throat. I starve for air, in between readings of her books. My head aches, eyes over-pressurize in this low atmosphere, this humid climate that is the underbelly of revelation. She begs me to take a bite and sings as I swallow. In her, I am a bell among bells in the bustle of the market square, all our tongues removed, our siren calls silenced so that we may be given the gift of sight. This volume of her poems grabs me by the very redness of my blood. I am g ...more
Karen Lepri
Jul 19, 2010 Karen Lepri rated it really liked it
I give this book 4 stars for the last section--hard to find such stunning, erotic poems.
Lisha Adela
Mar 18, 2009 Lisha Adela rated it really liked it
This was the one book, the first book of Carolyn Forché's I had yet to read. It was the book that was awarded the Yale Young Poets award. What insight at such a young age. There are moments in this book, "ghosts in my mouth" that cut across cultural identities to the overall human garment. I was fascinated, read the book twice and marvel at how such a unique voice, so young, could capture the human spirit in the land, in the ethers and in our psyche. " I am the spirit entering the stomach of the ...more
Dec 19, 2015 h rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2015
3.5? 4? not sure so rounding up.
Rachelle Smith
Nov 22, 2010 Rachelle Smith rated it liked it
There are a lot of symbols to see and you definately get a feel for the setting. The book goes from one place to a complete other. First more about her grandmothers life and then into here own. Her grandmothers influence and her as a child to her life as an adult with sexual desire and experences along with life and how she sees it on her own now.
Laura Hartmark
Feb 22, 2012 Laura Hartmark rated it it was amazing
If life were a myth, Forche would be the character who travels the world, gathering tears in a cup. People would say, "I have so many tears, and I am afraid they will fall." Forche would say, "I have a cup. I will gather your tears so you need not worry." Forche, as a poet and an inspiration, is beloved by many.
Jan 24, 2013 Peter rated it liked it
An entertaining and thought provoking collection, which the Yale series gushed over because of erotic themes integrated with deep personal and cultural history. Great for such a young offering, worth the read, but her later works are to be more highly recommended. Immature in places and predictive in places.
Aug 06, 2007 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Definitely a 70s-era personal history book of poems, but some of it feels very brave and true, and it sounds beautiful out loud.
Jun 24, 2009 Alice rated it really liked it
This book is beautiful.
Dec 23, 2011 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, award-winning
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  • Field Guide
  • Fragment of the Head of a Queen: Poems
  • After
  • Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields
  • Interior with Sudden Joy: Poems
  • A Hunger: Poems
  • Dancing in Odessa
  • At the Drive-In Volcano
  • Blackbird and Wolf: Poems
  • Science & Steepleflower (New Directions Paperbook)
  • It Is Daylight
  • Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006
  • The Cloud Corporation
  • Otherwise: New and Selected Poems
  • The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994
  • The Earth in the Attic
  • The Selected Levis
  • Cocktails
Carolyn Forché was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1950. She studied at Michigan State University and earned an MFA from Bowling Green State University. Forché is the author of four books of poetry: Blue Hour (HarperCollins, 2004); The Angel of History (1994), which received the Los Angeles Times Book Award; The Country Between Us (1982), which received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di C ...more
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“In the night I come to you and it seems a shame
to waste my deepest shudders on a wall of a man.”
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