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Transbluesency: Selected Poems, 1961-1995

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  229 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Finally in print in a single volume, a selection from Baraka's mostly out-of-print collections of poetry, from 1961 to the present. Starting with Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note and concluding with recent limited-edition chapbooks and broadsides, this selection traces the more than thirty year career of a major writer who - along with Ezra Pound - may be one of the ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Marsilio Publishers (first published 1995)
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I find it funny how many of us start off as romantics & become so sullen in our older days. His early works are so elegant, imaginative & beautiful as any of the literary greats I've read. His unapologetic anger seems just but may turn off many readers. His beautiful sorrow turns to perilous anger & I find it interesting. This is the objective I believe. To make your ideas known; to make social commentary relevant in an original & captivating manner. He's truly an American attrib ...more
baraka is so impressive as a poet. he has done plays and operas, received numerous awards, but for me his poetry is so powerful with such an original voice. i really enjoy his personal battle with politics for throughout this 30 year span of his poetry he begins with abstract beat writer to somewhat of a marxist-leninist. he mixes cultural and political dimensions with such poetic innovation. although i deem his very original, he reminds me of ezra pound.
I wish I had more time to spend with Baraka. He is insightful, funny, and gorgeous. And for a beat poet, way more refined that Ginsberg or Kerouac. I will be returning to this author.
40 years of Amiri Baraka! What more can I ask for?
Noriyuko 'Pat'
There is so much greatness in this book that it almost seems obnoxious not to give it five stars...but then when I get to muc of the later work I can't help but be a bit disappointed that the same poet who was capable of writing such terrific poems including 'A Poem Some People Will Have to Understand' and 'An Agony, As Now' ended up writing work bordering on agitprop drivel (i.e., 'We'll worship Jesus / When jesus do / Somethin / When jesus blow up / the white house / of blast nixon down') or e ...more
I have to say that I prefer the poems from Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note and The Dead Lecturer that set off this collection over Amiri's later poems. With that said, this book is an excellent guide to helping poets see how a poet can change their tone and syntax over time without losing their voice or aesthetic. For an extra challenge-- pair this volume up with Conversations With Amiri Baraka (Literary Conversations Series) to really feel the growth of one of our premiere poets.
I sure don't read Baraka for the stale socialist rhetoric! He's got stunning poetics.

ps- carolyn got the SFSU library copy signed.
Christoph Girard
"Poems are like total bullshit"
Corinne Valdez
"Poems are bullshit"
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Baraka was born Everett LeRoy Jones in Newark, New Jersey, where he attended Barringer High School. His father, Coyt Leverette Jones, worked as a postal supervisor and lift operator. His mother, Anna Lois (née Russ), was a social worker. In 1967 he adopted the African name Imamu Amear Baraka, which he later changed to Amiri Baraka.

The Universities where he studied were Rutgers, Columbia, and Howar
More about Amiri Baraka...
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