Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Homage To An Amazing Poet: The Collected Poems Of Audre Lorde!

The Good: Lyrically superior, articulate, poetically supreme!
The Bad: Minutia - mostly a few poems that get lost
The Basics: A definite buy! Great for any library, especially one lacking poetry! Audre's magical voice enhances all of her views!

The vast majority of people who are not in college in an English/literary degree program haven't read much poetry and outside of a feminist literature class, odds are most haven't experienced Audre Lorde. Nothing could be more unfortunate. Audre Lorde spends a lot of time exploring the different facets of who she is as a woman, cancer survivor, lesbian, and woman of color.

To simply ignore genius because it is originating from someone we don't know or because we might not be the same demographic is foolish. A lot of that idea comes out in The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, the most complete collection of poems by one of the United States' unsung literary icons. Indeed, Audre wrote before the popularity of such authors as Toni Morrison and poet Maya Angelou.

Audre Lorde displays a profound understanding of the English language that is enviable, especially in such illiterate times. She brings voice, more than to any group that she is a part of but, to the individual. That is, while Audre was a woman, cancer survivor, etc., her poetry emerges as a work of an essential Human. She is the voice of individuality and so much of her poetry explores the isolation as a result.

The only significant drawback (I do not consider having to actually think about what you're reading a drawback) is that some of Audre's longer poems get lost. It's not so much that they're long to the point of losing their point, but rather that in some of her poetic endeavors, she gets off track, starts with a point and never comes back to it or takes the poem in a different direction and it simply doesn't work.

Largely this is an amazing collection of poetry enviable by anyone who enjoys poetry. It's also the ideal volume for those looking for something different or to overcome a long-held fear of poetry.


For more book reviews, please check out my reviews of:
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
and the index page!

© 2001, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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