By Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Alexander
"If you sought after a poem," wrote Gwendolyn Brooks, "you simply needed to glance out of a window. there has been fabric regularly, strolling or operating, struggling with or screaming or singing." From the lifetime of Chicago's South aspect she made a forceful and passionate poetry that fused Modernist aesthetics with African-American cultural culture, a poetry that registered the lifetime of the streets and the upheavals of the twentieth century. beginning with A highway in Bronzeville (1945), her epoch-making debut quantity, the fundamental Gwendolyn Brooks lines the complete arc of her occupation in all its formidable scope and unforeseen stylistic shifts.
"Her formal range," writes editor Elizabeth Alexander, "is so much notable, as she experiments with sonnets, ballads, spirituals, blues, complete and off-rhymes. She is little short of a technical virtuoso." That technical virtuosity was once matched by means of a stressed interest in regards to the lifestyles round her in all its explosive type. via turns compassionate, indignant, satiric, and psychologically penetrating, Gwendolyn Brooks's poetry keeps its energy to maneuver and shock.
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Extra info for The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks (American Poets Project)
How the violence of wealth and entitlement was hurled upon disappointment and deprivation, upon lack of magnanimity and the futility of ignorance and poverty... until the world exploded into a burning pit of rage... , and it was all someone else's agony... 10 A pail of hot pitch banged off the wall on its way up the pulley so molten pellets rained down out of the balmy azure sky, singeing my head and shoulders. Junior stood on the ledge, smiling down at me. I owned nothing but my whiteness— was that why they hated me?
Why not ask me, I wondered, why there was no Constitution that included the excluded, appeased the disappointed, buoyed up the downcast— what accounted for the liquid solidarity of the classes, the flight of the bourgeoisie from their illusions, why did the workers turn on those who died to help them, did so many diverse societies hurl themselves into an abyss, could so much hope, desire and confidence fail once again to flourish? In other words: why did Dad own, believe in, admit to, understand and love nothing...
Yo got pimple dreams and pimple ideeas. Also, yo got black pain. It aint kilt yo yet but it will. " 9 Federalists, dogs want strong leadership. On a slow spring Sunday they like to be led along the mumbling Hudson, to the big harbor where the grande dame, spiffy in her mildewed dolorousness, stands alone at the far tip of this miscellaneous island, quietly presiding over the great twin absences we all pretend to no longer notice... 10 Last September, in the balmy blue sunshine I stood shivering inside blue tissue slippers, gray striped pj's, staring up at a few inconsolable leaves on a ginkgo tree, trying to appreciate their fanlike shadows as people disguised as ghosts ran toward me out of the screaming tumult of my amplified consciousness.