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The Yellow House on the Corner

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The debut collection of poetry by Rita Dove.
Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Carnegie Mellon University Press (first published January 1st 1980)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  77 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I enjoyed individual poems from this former U.S. poet laureate’s debut (from 1980), but it didn’t feel like a thematically linked collection. For instance, Part III is composed of poems about slavery, including some monologues, while Part V (the best, I thought) has poems reflecting on travels plus a few gently erotic ones.

My two favorites were “Champagne” (“not an industry to speak of, just / an alchemy whose yield is pleasure”) and “Notes from a Tunisian Journal” (“The camels stand in all thei
Becky Loader
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I just like to read a little poetry. I like how Rita Dove uses words and language, so I re-read a few old favorites. Nice.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some stunning, mature work, particularly for a debut collection. The series of poems about enslaved people is powerful and diverse, and Dove's poems about adolescence are beautiful.
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to read some poetry by Rosa Parks, but the book listed available at the library wasn't there. I picked this Rita Dove book by chance because she was listed as the person who organized the collection of poetry by Rosa Parks. I liked how Rita Dove created historical fiction poems. There were some love poems, travel poems, and adolescent poems. I didn't find myself enthralled in it like my favorite poets. There are so many high ratings I wondered if there was something I wasn't understandi ...more
Rating: 3 1/2

Ms. Dove's debut collection, and it seems like it. Her accessible language / writing style, her humanity, her ability to write as a black person without excluding white people - all these positive attributes are present. But it's also a somewhat boring collection. I can see how her potential had yet to be fully realized.

The best of the collection:

"Notes from a Tunisian Journal"
"The Sahara Bus Trip"
"His Shirt"

All three pieces are from the fifth and final section, whatever that mean
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I read some of these poems while drunk after work on weeknights and they’d strike me as painstakingly rendered and spare with images that sometimes force me to rethink and reconsider the objects she's describing – everything I look for in poems. It's truly impressive when an author, using only words, compels a reader to see things in the world as if for the first time.

Therefore, 4 stars: plus 5 for making sense to a drunk man and making him think the world is beautiful, minus 1… for making sens
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Good, but didn't have the impact her later books bring. Solid first book, though.
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Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and musician, lives in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

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