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Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Poets on the march: 50 crucial poems written in response to the current political climate, selected and introduced by the Ohio Poet Laureate--and son of immigrants--Amit Majmudar.

In a political atmosphere where language and even meaning itself are continually under threat, poetry has a critical role to play. And our poets have been responding--in the streets and at their
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Kurt Kemmerer
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Look, there are a few good poems in this collection, particularly Pinsky's addition, and I agree with almost all of the poems included, at least philosophically. But there are too many bad poems, and too few female poets, and I just had to add another bad poem in response:

Unsolicited Advice

A poem about the current political
situation
should not utilize the words
situation and
utilize.
(No one is exempt, here.)

Nowhere in such a poem
should one find the colors
orange and bronze.
Nor should the poem claim
...more
Jan
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This anthology, edited by one of my favorite poets, is a powerful response to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency as well as a virtual catalogue of important modern American poets. It's also a great answer to those who think political poetry can't be top-notch.
Ally
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Amit Majmudar was one of a handful of poets whose work was selected by The New York Times during their contest for political poetry, in the wake of the election of the 45th President of the United States. This prompted a conversation with Majmudar's publisher, in which the idea for an anthology for political poetry was decided upon. Enter RESISTANCE, REBELLION LIFE: 50 POEMS NOW. This collection of political poems, each penned by a different author, takes on all kinds of themes. There's outrage, ...more
Antonia
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I admire the concept and passion. And my hat's off to Amit Majmudar. I heard him speaking about this book on a podcast and had to buy it immediately. There are a few standout poems here. But not enough. The collection includes quite a few really long poems. I get bogged down in them, lose my way. (This is probably more my failing than that of the poets.) They don't seem to me to have as much power as some of the shorter ones. My dave was "Killing Methods" by Ada Limón, which concludes:

I don't k
...more
Jeimy
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very polarized collection. I either loved a poem or I hated it, but there was no in between.
Leigh Anne
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A pocket full of moxie for your favorite lefty.

When the going gets tough, the poets write poetry. I mean, they write poetry all the time, but when the world is a complete and utter trash fire, poetry tends to kick it up a notch. This collection, which is literally small enough to tuck into your jacket, contains 50 poems curated by the poet laureate of Ohio, who has chosen verses to get you fired up, sustain you in dark hours, and reassure you that, no, you are NOT crazy, the world really IS a co
...more
Richard
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I don't often read poetry cover to cover, but this little book got the full treatment. The editor submitted a work to Nick Kristoff of the NY Times as part of a call for resistance poetry. His work was chosen for the Times, and then his editor at Knopf asked him to put an anthology together.

The title is a play on Camus' "Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays," and follows in the vein of his Nobel speech in which he said the writer, "cannot serve today those who make history; he must serve th
...more
Joanne Rixon
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two years into the latest iteration of American fascism, I'm weary and wary of the #resistance; if I never again hear a Baby Boomer rhapsodize about the lost glory of American Democracy's Golden Age it will be too soon. But most of the poems in this book aren't hashtaggy. Poetry, I think, is naturally resistant to hashtag culture.

In any case, there are many poets featured in this book that I know and love and would like to recommend to you. Many of the poems are reprints, by poetry-world-famous
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Mauricio Maluff Masi
It's hard to give a single review for the whole anthology. I generally enjoyed the ones that focused in on one perspective of injustice ("Interview with a Border Machine," "They Call Them Blue My Mind," "We've come a long way toward getting nowhere.") They felt true, complicated, I came out understanding something better. I sympathized with some the poems of Trump-induced grief and resistance ("Let Them Not Say," "Good Bones.") They were comforting. But I really couldn't stand the ones about how ...more
Caroline
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I liked the idea of this anthology, and I liked a lot of the individual poems, but there were also a lot of really bad ones (very on-the-nose).

Highlights for me were the poems by Erica Dawson, Alex Dimitrov, Kay Ryan, Ada Limón, Solmaz Sharif, Rebecca Hazelton, Ilya Kaminsky, Maggie Smith, and Lucie Brock-Broido. Some of them I had actually already read in other publications, but I enjoyed them again in this context.

I personally think poetry is a great tool for coping in these troubling
...more
Kathleen
4.5 stats.

I had a little trouble with it cause poetry can be hard for me. But some of the poems we're absolute breathtaking. The compiler/editor wrote a poem to conclude the collection that was written (except for the very last line) from phrases and lines of the preceding 49 poems.

It is amazing how all these disparate poems, points of views, poets, ideas, etc could come together to form the final piece of art.

I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and read something a little more diffic
...more
Jeff Lewonczyk
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this up because I was excited to see some "real-time" poetry written in direct response to recent events. And the answer is kind of what was to be expected - some forgettable hot takes mixed with some clever/fascinating/thoughtful/moving pieces, but not really anything that made me think or feel any differently than I already had. A decent dry run for the classics of a year or two from now.
ems
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
given the theme (post-trump america) i expected many of the poems would be polemic, would sacrifice style. i was impressed by the opposite. (funny: the editor notes in the intro that no poets even submitted work that could be construed as conservative or pro-trump, even though they called for work from any political pov ... the poets of america have spoken.)
Kirsten D
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a wonderful anthology. I didn’t love all the poems, but I really loved the poems “Riddle,” “Social Skills Training,” “We Lived Happily During the War,” “The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act,” and (of course) “Good Bones.” The introduction on truth was thought-provoking. Overall, this was great.
jenni
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, politics
a great thematic anthology with a few stand-out pieces, though realized how I largely prefer reading one poet's work as part of a single volume rather than multiple in one because stylistically I am outlandishly picky and annoying
Kari
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I bought this because I knew it had poems I already liked in it and I am trying to buy books of poetry more often and support poems/poets I know I like. I enjoyed several of the new-to-me poems in this book and many more of them made me think.
Chrissy
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
There was very little flow between these 50 poems. They read in a disjointed way, and I found myself wandering rather than paying attention. Poetry is hard for me, but I keep trying to find the one that will take hold.
Hailey
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I like some of these poems
Leila Jaafari
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
50 poems on the current political climate of the United States of America. This is the rebel cry of (as the racist yam so eloquently described it...) the "alt left".
Dee
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not all of the poems are brilliant, but all of them are necessary. Some are incandescent.
Tom Romig
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
No odes to despair here, rather many bracing, clear-eyed yet optimistic poems calling us to our better natures.
Beckyt
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I kept this small volume in my backpack and read poetry while waiting for the bus home from work. Enjoyed it very much.
Hadi
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nice concept but the poems are pretty mundane. There's not a lot of imagination or craft on display here.
Maughn Gregory
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many of my favorite contemporary poets contributed to this wild, anguished fistful of poems hot enough to burn down walls.
Jennifer
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good collection of poetry that feels very NOW.
Anna
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a 100% chance I added a star because I love Good Bones so much and it was included.
Sungjoon Hwang
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
All about against Trump and angry at Trump
Dale Corey
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2019
Kim
rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2017
Laura
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Aug 14, 2017
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Amit Majmudar is the author of The Abundance, Partitions, chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best debut novels of 2011 and by Booklist as one of the year’s ten best works of historical fiction. His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Best American Poetry 2011. A radiologist, he lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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