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The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems: 1987-1992
by Audre Lorde
This collection, 39 poems written between 1987 and 1992, is the final volume by "a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives," in the words of Adrienne Rich.
Hardcover, 72 pages
Published September 17th 1993 by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published 1993)
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I really wanted to like these. Tried to get into them. The topics are important, but it's the highly metaphorical language that gets in the way. I really can't follow what's going on. It's apparent Lourde had big ideas about issues that affected her life, I just can't experience them in the poems because of the metaphorical barrier. The only times where I can glimpse are in the poems that are more straightforward with sparser use of metaphor, which begins about halfway through until the end. The ...more
I really like the way Lorde combines elegies for her parents, herself, and her friends with larger elegies for political atrocities. A nice melding of the personal and the political, although I have to admit (reluctantly) to preferring the personal in this collection.
Lorde's poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes' 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet's Press and edited by Diane di Prima, a former cla ...moreMore about Audre Lorde...