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Wade in the Water: Poems
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April 2019: History > Wade in the Water: Poems - Tracy K. Smith (4 stars)

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message 1: by Cora (last edited Apr 18, 2019 07:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1554 comments Wade in the Water: Poems - Tracy K. Smith

4 stars

Wade in the Water is a collection of poetry by the Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. She addresses a variety of topics in her poems, but I placed it in the folder for history because one section of the collection is devoted to erasure poems. (Wikipedia defines erasure poem as, "a form of found poetry or found object art created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. The results can be allowed to stand in situ or they can be arranged into lines and/or stanzas.")

Most of these erasure poems were based on first person letters and accounts of slaves and former slaves during the U.S. Civil War. She also has an erasure poem drawn from the text of the Declaration of Independence. While I liked all of the poems, it was this section that moved me the most. I like that she used the actual words of these people gave voice to the desperation these former slaves who put their lives on the line for our country and yet, had to survive in a world that did not treat them fairly. It really brought their history alive and presented them as the real people they were rather than just statistics in a history book. She also included notes at the end of the collection with citations for the sources of the materials she used to write these poems.

message 2: by Jgrace (new) - added it

Jgrace | 3193 comments That sounds fascinating. Thanks for this review.

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