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Imagine the Angels of Bread: Poems
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Imagine the Angels of Bread: Poems

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  210 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Combining the personal with the political in his fifth collection, Martín Espada celebrates the bread of the imagination, the bread of the table, and the bread of justice. The heart of the collection is a series of autobiographical poems recalling family, school, neighborhood, and work experiences-from bouncer to tenant lawyer. There are moments of revelation and political ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published November 17th 1997 by W. W. Norton Company
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Megan B. read the title poem from this collection at her Epiphany (2017) party. I'm fairly certain I read this collection back in college (Fall 2001, he was a guest at the Poetry Center along with Richard Blanco), though in reading it this time around most of the poems didn't feel familiar except for the title poem and (of course) and "When the Leather is a Whip" (of course), so maybe not? But snippets of "The Owl and the Lightning" and "The Meaning of the Shovel" also felt familiar, so I dunno. ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was my introduction to Espada's work - he came to my high school to talk to us and lead a poetry writing workshop, and signed my copy of the book, and I have gone back to it and followed his work over the years. I teach poems from this collection to my students, and I revisit them often, and I truly hope that Espada gains more recognition as the years go by. At the risk of sounding harsh, I seem to encounter a lot of poetry being published today that... just isn't that good. This is differe ...more
Dan Simmons
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
– Gaitherburg, Maryland

At Scot Gas, Darnestown Road,
the high school boys
pumping gas
would snicker at the rednecks.
Every Saturday night there was Earl,
puckering his liquor-smashed face
to announce that he was driving
across the bridge, a bridge spanning
only the whiskey river
that bubbled in his stomach.
Earl’s car, one side crumpled like his nose,
would circle slowly around the pumps,
turn signal winking relentlessly.

Another pickup truck morning,
and rednecks. Loitering
in our red uniforms, we wat
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Political poetry at its best
Angry, sad, contemplative, stirring, compassionate
Worth a read
Jan 10, 2012 added it
Shelves: poetry
Espada's poems are full of compassion and humanity and, on occasion, moments of luminosity and transcendence. No matter how autobiographical or how general the subject, each poem is a clarion call for social justice.

'Public School 190, Brooklyn 1963'
'Sleeping on the Bus'
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First time reading Martin. As a reader I instantly connected with his experiences and his father's experiences. We are not that much unalike.
Reading as a student of poetry, I enjoyed his imagery, the way he expands the surroundings of the poem.
Jade Kranz
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
A subversive collection of poems, both jarring and intimate, which explores themes of oppression and humanism in the US and Latin America. Espada has the charged voice of a ground-level witness with a bird's-eye view. I found this book eye-opening and moving, a worthwhile read.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at The Big Idea and couldn't put it down, so I figured I should take it home. I'm glad I did. I read most of these poems aloud to myself two or three times. Clever, literary, powerful, and just the right balance of political & personal for my tastes.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't particularly care for this book myself. I bought it a number of years ago as a required book for a poetry class I was taking. I don't recall needing it much but thought that since I had had to buy it I'd eventually read the whole thing.
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
i prefer to imagine the angels of hamburger, but i'm not puerto rican.
Maughn Gregory
Espada ranks among my favorite contemporary poets and this book is why.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. And I don't even really like poetry.
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sandra Cisneros said that, if it was up to her, Espada would be the poet laureate of the United States. Here's to hoping that someday it's up to her . . .
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love this man. Everything he touches.
Andrew Naylor
May 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
The song is better
Nov 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The poem Imagine the Angels of Bread is my favorite poem ever.
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Sandra Cisneros says: “Martín Espada is the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.” Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published thirteen books in all as a poet, essayist, editor and translator. His eighth collection of poems, The Republic of Poetry, was published by Norton in October, 2006. Of this new collection, Samuel Hazo writes: "Espada unites in these poems the fierce al ...more
More about Martín Espada