Transfigurations: Collected Poems

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9780807126295: Transfigurations: Collected Poems

Few poets have as much to tell us about the intricate relationship between the African American past and present as Jay Wright. His poems weave a rich fabric of personal history using diverse materials drawn from African, Native American, and European sources. Scholarly, historical, intuitive, and emotional, his work explores territories in which rituals of psychological and spiritual individuation find a new synthesis in the construction of cultural values. Never an ideologue but always a poet of vision, his imagination shows us a way to rejoice and strengthen ourselves in our common humanity.

Here, together for the first time, are Wright's previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine's Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright's work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerful consistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one.

Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture.

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About the Author:

Poet and playwright Jay Wright has received numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the International Poetry Forum's Charity Randall Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award. A MacArthur Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wright lives in Vermont.

From Publishers Weekly:

Onetime jazz musician, minor-league baseball player, member of the U.S. Army, theology and comparative literature student, and college professor, Wright has, since the early '70s, pursued a less institutionally affiliated life and become a major voice in American poetry. After he was chosen for a MacArthur Fellowship in 1986 and his Selected Poems was published a year later by Princeton University Press, Wright's work began to reach a wider readership, though one still smaller than many of his peers. This major editionDrarely do poets have a 700-plus-page collected poems published during their lifetimesDshould help further extend the reputation of this remarkable poet. It is Wright's first book of poems since 1991's Boleros and presents all of Wright's previous full-length collections, beginning with The Homecoming Singer (1971), proceeding chronologically by date of composition, and ending with the newer poems, many published here for the first time. The early poems move away from the era's prevalent personal narrative in favor of a heady mix of history and religion, making for an extended unfolding of a cosmology of culture: "High bells and xylophones,/ marimbas, a courteous guitar,/ New England winter in a choir/ of fifteen, dressed in Quechua shawls." Scholars of Wright's work frequently mention his African-American heritage, his upbringing in New Mexico, his bilingualism, and his extensive travels in Mexico and Europe as biographical context for the erudite quality to his verse, but listed attributes cannot account for the work's transformative power: "Below us, our dead/ economic of love has made a left turn,/ and the mollusk must pay for light, a green urn/ and the right to exchange the body's spent shell/ for a feeling so lately struck when love fell." As Wright is also a playwright, poems like "The Abstract of Knowledge / the First Test" and "The Key That Unlocks Performance: Vision as Historical Dimension," to name just two of the scores of poems here, can seem less a movement of isolated modern characters than a timeless drama. Particularly in its movement between Africa and the Americas, Wright's poetry continually insists upon the notion of a diasporic history, but it refuses to allows its characters and speakers be completely determined by it, making this book a true life lesson. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Wright, Jay
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Descrizione libro Louisiana State University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few poets have as much to tell us about the intricate relationship between the African American past and present as Jay Wright. His poems weave a rich fabric of personal history using diverse materials drawn from African, Native American, and European sources. Scholarly, historical, intuitive, and emotional, his work explores territories in which rituals of psychological and spiritual individuation find a new synthesis in the construction of cultural values. Never an ideologue but always a poet of vision, he shows us a way to rejoice and strengthen ourselves in our common humanity.Here, together for the first time, are Wright s previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine s Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright s work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerful consistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one.Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture. In The Albuquerque Graveyard , he offers a poignant elegy to victims of slavery s Middle Passage and also reveals the purpose of his poetry. Codice libro della libreria FLT9780807126295

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Descrizione libro Louisiana State University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few poets have as much to tell us about the intricate relationship between the African American past and present as Jay Wright. His poems weave a rich fabric of personal history using diverse materials drawn from African, Native American, and European sources. Scholarly, historical, intuitive, and emotional, his work explores territories in which rituals of psychological and spiritual individuation find a new synthesis in the construction of cultural values. Never an ideologue but always a poet of vision, he shows us a way to rejoice and strengthen ourselves in our common humanity.Here, together for the first time, are Wright s previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine s Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright s work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerful consistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one.Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture. In The Albuquerque Graveyard , he offers a poignant elegy to victims of slavery s Middle Passage and also reveals the purpose of his poetry. Codice libro della libreria FLT9780807126295

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