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Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part One; Poems
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Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part One; Poems

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  11 reviews
With the allusive leaps and improvisational chops of a jazz soloist, Yusef Komunyakaa is our great poet of connectivity--the secret blood that links slave and master, explorer and native, stranger and brother. In Taboo he examines the role of blacks in Western history, and how these roles are portrayed in art and literature. In taut, meticulously crafted three-line stanzas ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2004)
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3.80  · 
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 ·  96 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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When deeds splay before us
precious as gold & unused chances
stripped from the whine-bone,
we know the moment kindheartedness
walks in. Each praise be
echoes us back as the years uncount
themselves, eating salt. Though blood
first shaped us on the climbing wheel,
the human mind lit by the savanna's
ice star & thistle rose,
your knowing gaze enters a room
& opens the day,
saying we were made for fun.
Even the bedazzled brute knows
when sunlight falls through leaves
across honed knives on th
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Amazing, thought provoking poetry. But! I'm too ignorant to understand the constant references. The ones that I did know, were pleasant and rewarding like, Astraea's Footnotes, Queen Marie-Therese & Nabo and Lustration.I know that google can help with research but sometimes I have access to no internet service. So the immediate gratification that poetry gives is taken away from me this book.
Nicole Gervasio
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Komunyakaa was another of my professors during my freshman year of college, and I'm ashamed to say this is still the only volume of his that I actually own. Taboo has many jazz inflections. The poems are gripping in their brevity, and their rhythm is impeccable with a sort of au naturale ability that seems intensely endemic to him and his work.
ben adam
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book seems a little too high brow and abstract for me. A classicist may enjoy this. I liked it because I like everything by Komunyakaa, but this got a little out of hand. But still, it's better than 95% of all other poets. This is a 3-star for Komunyakaa, possibly a 4-star for everyone else.
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book takes a lot of research to get through, but with Google at the ready it is certainly approachable. The short lines are beautiful and I love how he interweaves the past and present, and teaches me about jazz and art history along the way.
Jonathan Tennis
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it

Favorites are as follows: Queen Marie-Therese & Nabo; King of the Octave; Antebellum Silhouettes; Satchmo, USA; The Archivist, Outside the Blue Nile.

Would recommend to others interested in Komunyakaa's work.

On a bit of a Komunyakaa kick.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is some really excellent stuff in here. I will definitely be reading more by Yusef Komunyakaa.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Masterful, like all of Komunyakaa's poetry. To be savored slowly.
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Intense jazz poetry. More allusions than I could follow and appreciate, but good stuff. I'd like to read his collection that won him a Pulitzer, Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems.
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Yusef Komunyakaa (born April 29, 1947) is an American poet who teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Komunyakaa is a recipient of the 1994 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, for Neon Vernacular and the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Komunyakaa received the 2007 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribut ...more