once i taught a world lit. class and i taught this book. i hated every second of it, even though the translation is good and the book is, well, a mastonce i taught a world lit. class and i taught this book. i hated every second of it, even though the translation is good and the book is, well, a masterpiece (so they say). that's what italian education does to you. it kills everything it touches. it deadens. magically, though, it didn't manage to kill the über-beautiful and, for us, equally classic The Betrothed. i know i will never teach The Inferno again, and i will never read it again, and i have to check if i have a copy in the house, because i'm suddenly seized by the overwhelming desire not to have The Divine Comedy anywhere near me. ...more
i need to say, first off, that poetry in english is really hard for me. i can do poetry in italian, but poetry in english, tough, man.
but a friend of mine agreed to read this with me, and the experience was intense. because saeed jones is nothing if not intense.
i'm writing this before reading any review at all, because i'm sure other people's reviews will intimidate me and push me to silence. here goes.
throat. the speaker's throat is all over the text. throats are oh so vulnerable. so easily punched in, smashed, stuffed. but they are also oh so powerful, the source of our voice, the receptacles of so many pleasures -- gustatory, sexual.
father. this is a long anguished dirge to a father who could have been but wasn't. and then was taken. before things could be set to right. i miss you dad. i hate you dad. i miss you dad. come back dad. look what a good boy i am now. look: i have published a book of poems. i am famous, dad. will you like me now?
invisible mother. barely there. where are women when abusive men massacre their kids? all too often they are being massacred themselves.
pain. dang. pain pain pain. you are so young saeed, and life has already given you so much bitterness.
gender fluctuation and prostitution and drugs: stop living so dangerously, saeed.
race. bitter fruit. katrina. the exxon valdez oil spill. james bird jr.. slavery. swamps. briar patches. running running running from the dogs.
fantastic animals, long dry grass, fire, water -- objects/sites of delight, objects/sites of agony and fear.
this is what i got. so many lines worth copying, but other have done it so go read their review. gorgeous language and this: simple, even common feelings/experiences described with astoundingly powerful one-liners. ...more
benightedly i gave this 4 stars i'm sorry/you are/yes/why did you give it 4 stars/i wanted it to be like Aof R/ poetry is never the same/as i'm learninbenightedly i gave this 4 stars i'm sorry/you are/yes/why did you give it 4 stars/i wanted it to be like Aof R/ poetry is never the same/as i'm learning mostly from the reviews i am too inexperienced to learn from the book itself/some of these poems are surreal/they are/you don't like surreal/i like surreal but it doesn't quite talk to me the language seems gimmicky to me without/ i've heard this before/wisdom i guess/poetry's curse/insight quotability a light/we fumble in the dark/there's a glacier then there is a volcano polar opposites/which pole/i'd say the north pole/it's the easiest to assume/there is no life at the south pole except of course that which the explorers bring basically themselves/you mean native life but then how would we know/i mean currently/ah, temporality/i loved io/she's feathery and magic/thank you/you're welcome/i hate war/me too...more
this is poetry that is also a life story. it's very beautiful and very simple and packs a punch. i ache for the girl who had to spend so much time outthis is poetry that is also a life story. it's very beautiful and very simple and packs a punch. i ache for the girl who had to spend so much time outside her body. the author is now called samuel ace and, from having been to one of his readings, i can attest that he seems fine and happy. so this is a story with a happy ending. ...more
this contains stuff of interest for those who want to hear about the intensity and emotional depth of the therapeutic relationship from the patient'sthis contains stuff of interest for those who want to hear about the intensity and emotional depth of the therapeutic relationship from the patient's side, from someone who is both deep and very good at putting words together. the poetry itself, though, didn't seem terribly interesting to me....more
ah, ranty rants and beautiful language and a deep deep sense of the long poetic sentence. and madness writ large. and industrial dissolution. and thatah, ranty rants and beautiful language and a deep deep sense of the long poetic sentence. and madness writ large. and industrial dissolution. and that wasteland that is america....more