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Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Alice Walker's first new collection of poetry since 1991, poems that reaffirm her as "one of the best American writers of today" [The Washington Post]. The forces of nature and the strength of the human spirit inspire the poems in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth. Alice Walker opens us to feeling and understanding, with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emoti ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published March 9th 2004 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 794)
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Carol
Honest. Deeply introspective. Embracing all of life.

On Some Things to Enjoy About Aging--

The dignity
of
Silver:
New light
Around my
Head.

Forgetfulness:
So much less
To recall!

Talking to myself:
Amusing company
For me &
My dog.

There is so much in this little book. Very powerful.
Also very cool is this book has her signature -- example http://www.tomfolio.com/autographimg....
Sara
My love for Alice Walker’s writing began back in 1995 when I wrote about The Colour Purple as part of my dissertation. It remains one of my favourite books of all time. I came across this 2004 publication more recently. I was in the library, supposedly working on my own book, but instead I spent the morning devouring these poems.

I loved the whole book, but would particularly recommend: ‘Coming Back from Seeing Your People’; ‘What Will Save Us’; ‘Thanksgiving’; ‘(Yours and Mine) Is Obsolete’; and
...more
Shannon
hey! my soul just healed!
Taylor Quinn
Thank you Alice Walker for restoring my faith in just simply being. I couldn't have picked this up at a better time.

It is all
Just the way
It is.

Sometimes
Life seizes
Up
Nothing stirs
Nothing flows
We think:
Climbing
This rough
tree
&
All the time
The rope looped
Over
A rotten
Branch!

We think:
Why did I choose
This path
Anyway?
Nothing at
The end
But sheer cliff
& rock-filled
Sea.

We do not know
Have no clue
What more
Might come.

It is the same
Though
With Earth:
Every day
She makes
All she can
It is all
She know
...more
Susan  Odetta
"Despite
the hunger
we cannot
possess
more
than
this:
Peace
in a garden
of
our own."
AnandaTashie
I'm a little mixed about this book.

I didn't care for the introduction. (Sorry, just can't get behind someone promoting mushrooms / etc, even for spiritual use. :D) I didn't like the composition of the poems at all.

As for the actual content, some felt like soap boxes, others were over-simple, and some were very moving.

Composition & line breaks aside, here are my favorites:

p 26, Despite / the hunger / we cannot / possess / more / than / this: / Peace / in a garden / of / our own.

p 78, ... T
...more
Molly
May 16, 2012 Molly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: poems
(1.5 / 5) "--if poems can actually be called writing... From that first volume [of my poetry] to this, what remains the same is the sense that, unlike 'writing,' poetry chooses when it will be expressed, and under what circumstances. Its requirements for existence remain mysterious. In its spontaneous, bare truthfulness, it bears a close relation to song and to prayer."

I wish I could properly unscrew my lens and read this book as I might have in middle or high school, where things such as form a
...more
Clarissa
A wonderful collection of poems; my favorite being "The Same As Gold".

Now that I
Understand
That grief
Emotionally speaking
Is the same
As Gold
I do not despair
That we are
All of us
Born to grieve

There was a
Small dark
Girl
In my dream
The other night;
She had been
Left with me
By strange women
On their way
Somewhere
Else.

Taking her into
My arms
Into my house
Which had no roof
My tears
Covered us
Like rain
Aimee
I wanted to love this collection more. There are individual poems I would definitely give 5 stars and are as lovely as a poem can be, but as a collection, it was so much the same. And while most poetry is personal, this is personal in a way that makes it hard for the reader to access at all. Oftentimes writers who've established a "name" can have a whole book built up around their musings--this is what this collection of poems feels like to me.
Rob
Heavily influenced by the terrorist attacks of 9-11. Affirming, but somewhat odd (unpleasant, in my view) in form. Lots of great poems, but lots of duds too.
E
Dec 07, 2012 E rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Like Charles Baudelaire and Sandra Cisneros, Alice Walker is a brilliant writer who can't pull it off when it comes to poetry. Her line breaks are amateurishly arbitrary. And the beautiful balance between heavenly ideals and down-to-earth anguish that she mastered in The Color Purple is replaced here by a hit-you-over-the-head obsession with hippy dippy dogma about peace, meditation, and mushrooms.

Her 9/11 poems prove she's still as brilliant a thinker as ever, but as a whole this collection ap
...more
Coco
Sufficient for those in dark places who need of some of Alice Walker's written comfort and assurance without the density of her novels.
S'hi
There is something simply powerful about Alice Walker’s poetry. The ordinariness of many of the scenes depicted, make them all the more powerful for their relevance, their ability to be experienced directly, even with the strangers who are her friends.

Then, there is the ordinary language that helps digest the inexplicable, the incomprehensible that would take the life out of us, kill our thinking, our feeling.

These poems resuscitate. They remind of the life that is still there, pulsed out moment
...more
Sarah
It was nice to hear once again the voice of Alice Walker.
Ronald Wise
A collection of poetry which convincingly portrayed Walker as in a state of self-assured readiness to take on whatever her life had to offer. This book was published a year before her novel Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, in which the female protagonist holds the same attitude. I found many of the poems to be inspirational toward maintaining a hopeful confidence in facing life's challenges. This book was added to my reading list, along with all her works, after reading her novel mentioned ab ...more
Melissa Mcdonald
Dec 06, 2012 Melissa Mcdonald marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry
Walker's poems have long been her warmest, least artful utterances, invoking the solidarity and the compassion she invites her readers to feel: this thick book of short-lined poems extends those goals, exploring and praising friendship, romantic love, home cooking, the peace movement, ancestors, ethnic diversity and particularly admirable strong women, among them the primatologist Jane Goodall.
Steph
I read this twice, to form a more sure impression as poetry often slips by when not spoken and savored. On my second reading I found more lines to love but also more I did not care to read again. Some of the themes (divorce, love, war) simply didn't resonate and others (sisters, elders, earth) seemed too familiar, as if I could read them before or again without noticing.
Kimberly Uhuru
Womanist and humanist in its sensibilities, it's a good book of poetry for when you want to be reminded of what sanity feels like.
Sarah
I read this when it came out, but for some reason I took it off the shelf again and am re-reading. It's poetry, and quick-read poetry at that, so it's like an interlude until I chose my next novel.

Feb 5: Not my favorite Walker book. Only two of the poems really stood out for me. The better of these was "Grace."
Holly
I loved this book of poems written out of feelings and thoughts the author experienced after the World Trade Center bombing. The other ongoing theme is strength in the human spirit as well as the humanity we share while we age both gracefully and without regret.
Maughn Gregory
I love Alice Walker the poet for the way she speaks so directly about justice- and love-oriented connection to land, animals, cultures and individual human beings; but many of these poems were too sentimental and superficial to reach very deep.
Kathleen O'Neal
I read this book of poetry as part of a project I undertook for an AP English class I took during my senior year of high school. While I did not find it as compelling as the fiction of Walker's that I have read, I nonetheless enjoyed it.
Sydney Young
What a lovely, lovely book. I've always loved Alice Walker for "The Color Purple" and am glad to know what a poet she is.

More of my thoughts here -- http://sydsavvy.blogspot.com/2013/02/...
Heather
This was the first book of Walker's poems that I read and I really enjoyed it. The poetry was fairly straight-forward and honest, but I really appreciated her perspective on life, love, war, writing, etc.
Adrienne Stapleton
Simple, beautiful, clear, and light. I have always loved Walker's impassioned prose, but love her poetry for just the opposite reason. It is beautiful and spare and rejoices in the small things.
Kristin
I bought this book for two reasons: 1) I am a fan of Walker's prose; 2)I fell in love with her poem entitled "The Tree". After reading her poetry, I'll stick with her prose.
Nisha
great poems, walker seems to be so wholesome and good. thats the impression i got from her books. she does like to smokeand eat mushrooms to get divine experiences:) thats cool.
Brit Hanson
Honest. Beautiful. Often subtle. But sometimes not.

Mary Oliver's Thirst and this book have helped me discover my love for poetry.
Jess
I'd actually give this one 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed a few of the poems, and several others were good.
Lukudu.paul.
Alice Walker been writing these book seen s (1991) great poems
both, spiritual and mantel ye.
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Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, an ...more
More about Alice Walker...
The Color Purple The Temple of My Familiar Possessing the Secret of Joy In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose Meridian

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