Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete Paperback – 1 May 2004
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From the Back Cover
"Reflects the inner journey of an extraordinary writer over 25 years of struggle. It teaches us, not yet at the end, to cherish and celebrate life."-WOMEN'S REVIEW OF BOOKS
In her preface to this collection Alice Walker expresses surprise that she has been writing poetry for more than a quarter of a century-since the summer of 1965 when she traveled to East Africa and began writing the poems that would form her first volume. Here, in an inspiring compilation of her earlier poetry, Walker offers a historical perspective on the political and spiritual issues spanning three decades of injustice, perseverance, and hope. Revelatory introductions to each group of poems become essential threads in the tapestry that is Alice Walker, tightly weaving a special insight into the evolving consciousness of one of the most remarkable and provocative literary voices of our time.
Alice Walker is the author of seven novels, three collections of short stories, three collections of essays, seven volumes of poetry, and several children's books. Her novel The Color Purple won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker lives in northern California.
About the Author
ALICE WALKER is an internationally celebrated writer, poet, and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children's books, and volumes of essays and poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award.
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Simply put, this book that convinced me Alice is a Talent with a capital "T". She starts with a lovely preface, "In keeping faith with Poetry's honest help to me, I have not deleted or changed--beyond a word or two--anything I have written, though greatly tempted at times to do so. The young self, the naive promiscuous self, appear doubly vulnerable now, in light of my unexpected bonus of years, and the experience they have brought me. I embrace them all, as Poetry embraced me..." From there, she follows with some beautiful, beautiful poetry, speaking to the struggle to develop and improve as an artist.
There are mis-steps, irritations. "There are no tigers/in Africa!/You say./Frowning./Yes. I say./Smiling./But they are/very beautiful." doesn't do much for me. I prefer my evocations of Africa without this almost Disney-esque gloss of "all cool primitive things we'll embrace as African."
Cumulatively, however--the poems are terrific. It's not often that I read through an entire volume of poetry without putting it down. Read this book for all its warts and missteps--and glory in it for its terrific human achievement.