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A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  26 reviews
One part mixtape, one part disorientation guide, and one part career retrospective, Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre's debut looks you directly in the eye and doesn't let you flinch. Ranging from justice to love, community action to personal reflection, A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry is a dedication to a craft. Clocking in before the rest of us are even awake, the book ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Button Poetry (first published October 2016)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Alana Voth
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five years ago, a pair of composition students stayed behind after a class discussion and showed me a series of "slam poems" on Youtube. ( I think we had discussed gender stereotypes that day.)

The poems those students shared with me included "OCD" by Neil Hilborn, "21" by Patrick Roche, "Hierarchy" by Miles Walser, and "Ten Responses to the Phrase Man Up," by Guante.

These poems blew me away. I had never seen or heard any of them. (Although I was familiar with and fond of a slam poet by the nam
...more
A. Blumer
I picked up this book because Guante is on my list of favorite MCs from the Midwest & I loved the reading his responses to his songs & poetry. The poetry was excellent & Guante is one hell of a motivator & activists for the arts.
The mock panel discussions were hilarious, but I stuggled with the essays merely because that type of writing has always been hard for me to read. Parts of this book felt like it was written for a college course. At first I was into it because it had been so long since
...more
Melissa
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great resource for teachers of poetry or social justice issues.

I particularly loved the poetry section, especially since I was already a fan of Guante's work and have taught his poem "Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up' in comp and poetry classes. I was excited to discover new work from him on toxic masculinity, rape culture and white supremacy; such poems were compelling. They explain these issues through use of metaphors and examples in a way that seems both accessible and perceptive. I kn
...more
Josiah Miller
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book of poetry, lyrics, and essays by Kyle Tran Myhre (Guante). A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry. This book definitely helped push my thinking about myself and the world around me in the direction it was heading. I definitely can fully understand the way I’ve branded myself for so long may not have been in the best interest for those around me. My jokes and humor were mostly at the expense of myself or people like me but I also used edgy humor at the expense of my f ...more
Jon FK
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I was first introduced to Guante through Button Poetry's YouTube channel. They featured an amazing piece by him called, "10 Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up'". From there, I followed his social media and began to watch other pieces of his. When I saw that he had a book published I had to get it.

His poems are some of my favorites I've ever read - most times colourful, usually playful, and thought provoking, always. The essays here are great points of reflection also. The lyrics, I admit, I didn't
...more
Nikhil
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A love song is a book worth experiencing.
The first part is the poems section that deals with masculinity, passion, heritage, love, racism, and education among others.
Smalltalk is an incredibly powerful piece that gets the book off to the races. Its a quintessential Guante piece that encapsulates why he is a poet in the first place.


When my girlfriend’s parents ask me what I do for a living…
I pull a straight razor out of my back pocket

Give me ten dollars and I will let you keep this.
Not the fi
...more
Stephanie Kennedy
A Must Read!!

There aren't words better put together into the poetry of the human soul, than those recorded in this book and spoken on the stage by Guante. He is, in my opinion, the voice of understanding about what hurts and heals the world today. A must read! Do not miss out on a better understanding of yourself through these poems.
Claire
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Startling, intimate and tender imagery that shows insight into critical social issues.
Georgia Francis
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry is a provocative and valuable read that became an instant favourite of mine. Through his collection of poems, songs and essays Guante tackles topics such as gender roles, privilege, rape culture and activism.

As Guante says in the introduction, the poems and songs included in this book are transcripts so I highly recommend listening to his music and watching his spoken word videos on YouTube for the full impact of the work.

Guante doesn't claim to have a
...more
Trinity
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. His work is pretty much always phenomenal. I think it really helped to watch a few of his videos before reading the book because then I was able to picture him and the sort of tone he uses while I was reading. If you haven't heard his work before, I would suggest starting with "Ten Responses to the Phrase "Man Up" and just continuing down the rabbit hole after that. There's this one part that stuck with me from "The Family Business"; he states "Sometimes, I see that face and imagine th ...more
Rojo
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book took me 3 whole months to finish and it’s not even that big...
Granted, I just haven’t been reading as much as I was before for some reason (the weather got nice?) but for a book that I’ve wanted for more than a year, seems odd to me.

I first discovered Guante, or Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, as a baby high-schooler—stumbling down YouTube holes of spoken word videos from Button Poetry. And then he came to my college during my junior year where we dubbed him “Guant-bae” after he followed us
...more
Laura
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
All I can say is WOW. I didn't want the book to end but am excited he has so much more content available to explore in all different forms. I hate how so many of today's performers and other artists are garbage people, yet we throw money at them regardless because they're talented at their craft and we do mental gymnastics to not feel guilty about supporting their abuse of others. (Mayweather, chris brown, Johnny depp, Jeepers Creepers director to name a few current ones off the top of my head)
I
...more
Molly Roach
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a great note to end 2019 on!
Guante’s “10 responses to the phrase man up” was the first slam poem I ever listened to. I must’ve listened to it 6 times a day for an entire year. Not only was it my introduction to poetry, it was my introduction to social justice. This year, I had the pleasure of getting to meet him. It was everything I could’ve hoped for. This book illuminates the work that needs to be done. It doesn’t shy away from hard truths. It doesn’t coddle. The poems, the lyrics, the e
...more
Stephanie
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read and re-read this so much since it arrived on my doorstep (I pre-ordered this book when I first found out it would be available on Amazon). Beautiful, accessible, and timely prose, this text matches beautifully with Guante's online resources at his website and with his values as an artist and activist.
Caitlin Michelle
This was awesome!! I've been a huge fan of Guante for years now and being able to read all of his works was amazing, he is such a talented writer, artist, activist, etc. Great work!! I hope for another collection in the future!
Norb Aikin
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow...a phenomenal mix of spoken word, essays, lyrics, and provocative thoughts. Anyone who is interested in becoming a better citizen of this planet should read and study this...the words regarding topics like feminism and privilege are especially keen and mind-shaping. I highly recommend this!
Shannon
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to read this 25 more times. I want to buy it and highlight the whole book. A real gem for the poetry world.
Becky
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The poems are intense and thought provoking. I couldn't really get into the essays on hip hop.
Rachel
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars -- I'm not sure... I wanted to like it more than I did
Nik
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-shelf
Reading this book was like a lesson on being a good person
Raven Black
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful poems, songs, essays. Just powerful

Amazing issues presented
The Rudie Librarian (Brian)
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a remarkable work of art with manual-like clarity on how to impact the world for the sake of equity.
Laura Toomer
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
His poetry is exceptional
Elianne
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Powerful!
I saw a video of Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre on Facebook which prompted me to seek more info on him which then prompted me to buy his book and I am so glad I did.
Whatever you call his style, it speaks to me. I hope that one day he will be performing near me so that I can see him in person. Looking forward to the next book.
Marie
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
“A poem doesn’t do everything for you. You are supposed to go on with your thinking.” Gwendolyn Brooks

I loved this book. The Gwendolyn Brooks quote, to me, seems to sum up the concept. Enjoying the art is great but it is so much better when it helps us to learn, grow and change.
Brittanie
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2019
Amanda
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2020
Ashley Martin
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2018
Kiana Mooney
rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2019
Stephanie
rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2020
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