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Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth Hardcover – March 4, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"You/ are/ the sister/ The big/ Sister/ As hero," Alice Walker writes near the beginning of her sixth volume of poems: "The one who sees/ The one who listens/ The one who guides/ Teaches/ & protects." Some of Walker's fans may feel this way about the author herself, whose decades of literary production and political activism include several bestselling novels, one Pulitzer for The Color Purple, influential essays about social change (most recently, Sent by Earth) and other much-acknowledged work in gender studies and African-American letters. Walker's poems have long been her warmest, least artful utterances, invoking the solidarity and the compassion she invites her readers to feel: this thick book of short-lined poems extends those goals, exploring and praising friendship, romantic love, home cooking, the peace movement, ancestors, ethnic diversity and particularly admirable strong women, among them the primatologist Jane Goodall. Some poems address topics of recent vintage, such as post-9/11 discrimination ("If you/ Want to show/ Your love/ For America// Smile/ When you see/ His/ Turban/ Rosepink"). Other work continues Walker's longer-term spiritual and ecological interests: the poet (who subtitled her 1990 collection Earthling Poems) now writes "Divine Mother/ Keep on praying/ For us/ All Earthlings/ All children/ Of this awesome place/ Not one of us/ Knowing/ Why we're here/ Except to Be." Though critics' interest in Walker will continue to concentrate on her prose, the readers across the country who cherished Walker's earlier poems will find in this new work exactly what they've awaited.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

For Alice Walker, there are no dividing lines between the personal, the political, and the artistic, and, consequently, her novels, essays, and poetry swing from sweet modes of intimacy to blunt polemics to confessional therapy to revelation. In her introduction to her sixth volume of poetry, Walker confides that she had thought she might not write anymore, but that changed after September 11, and she found herself writing these mystic prayers and heartfelt yet lithe and airy recollections of dreams and tributes to plants, animals, and compassionate people. Although some verge on triteness, most achieve a radiant simplicity, and all are sincere in their celebrations of nature and love, and protests against war, conquest, and more private forms of cruelty. Graceful in their spirituality, openness to experience, and rueful humor, Walker's poems revolve around love and gratitude for the earth. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375509046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375509049
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States' preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Alice Walker seems to love the color blue. I didn't count how often, but blue is woven in and out of the poems. It is like there is a blue ribbon of healing words sent out to the reader.
The poems weave a tale of the wonder of life and send out a call for the end of war and mistreatment of each other. Alice Walker sets an example of thanking and honoring friends for being who they are.
The poems in this book dusts off the reader and sets him/her off to do the work that needs to be done.
"This is the true wine of astonishment:
We are not
Over
When we think
We are."
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Format: Hardcover
I saw Ms. Walker read poems from this book last night in Los Angeles. She spoke of how she thought she was done with writing and then the poetry started one day. She described the return to poetry as a "spring" beginning to flow again. Anyone involved in creative pursuits, such as writing poetry, can surely relate to the "spring" metaphor. These poems are simply beautiful and seem effortless as you read them. They seem to come from a vast, open space. Reading the poetry engages the reader in a celebration of life, the spirit, and hope for humanity. Highly recommended!
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By A Customer on March 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Alice Walker's poetry transcends the egocentric concerns of the over-privileged conflict seeking few and reaches for a far loftier goal. Ms. Walker states this goal in the simple truth that in order to have peace we must at first be at peace with ourselfs. A fact that eludes so many of our world "leaders". Her poem on pg.179 "Dreaming the New World in Careyes" is the focal point (in my opinion) of this book, and a microcosm of the world today. I believe many people will certainly relate to the topic as they read it. At the conclusion of her poem Ms. Walker writes "Unhappy, but determined to disrupt the dream of peace". This sentence has become painfully relevant today. Ms. Walker's poetry is sensitive and insightful and in todays world speaks volumes above the din of war. For me her writings have become a breath of fresh air among alot of war-mongering halitosis.
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Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed the work of Alice Walker from a distance. For years I have thought she seemed like an interesting individual, one worthy of much admiration.

In this collection of poetry, though, that admiration turned into soulful, connected admiration as it felt as if we linked arms and sat around a fire together, her poems as the guiding force to a deep and meaningful friendship.

I never imagined her thinking, as she writes in the introduction, "Will I write?" and then coming to a time of personal quiet following the events of September 11 and turning that moment of quiet into a time of walking through life, asking questions and then - following a Rilkean model - living the questions and holding a word-mirror to her life and those questions and writing down what was reflected.

She writes of sensuality, mortality, vitality... look:

She writes, in "Loss of Vitality"....

"Loss of Vitality
is a sign
tThat
Things have gone
wrong

It is like
sitting on
a sunny pier
wondering whether
to swing
your feet"

I discovered Alice Walker is a woman who writes poems with refrigerator magnets and then writes them down, for us to read and enjoy later.

I discovered she is like me.

Every woman should read this book. And every person who loves every woman should read this book. Maybe even read a poem a day, together.
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Format: Hardcover
Alice Walker possesses a gift that she has continually shared with her readers. In both her fiction & poetry writing she weaves a web of magnificent beauty, keeping alive the hope that humanity and life is good. Her work comes from a source of profound truth deep within, awakening that part that is within each human being. When I feel disoriented or in need of solace, Alice Walker's writing sings to me as a mother to child. I feel blessed to have discovered her writing, as it has been a gift beyond all others. Her poems rise up as prayers to the Divine & I am thankful to experience this connection. So thank you, Alice, for sharing your profound gift with us all.
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By A Customer on July 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's no secret what Alice Walker can do with words in books. Just when I thought I'd read it all by this wonderful woman, this poetry collection took me to new heights. I found myself indulging in her soulfelt musing in bed, in the bath in between times with my children and just any time I had a moment to read it. I read these poems like a novel, because in actuality, it's what they really are.

If you don't have this poetry collection yet, you're already missing out on one of the best books of poetry out there. Get it!
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Format: Hardcover
Thank you a thousand times, Ms. Walker, for the gift of your new poems. They literally danced off the pages and into my soul as I read them. I enjoyed the preface and especially being introduced to the shaman/priestess/healer, Maria Sabina. My favorite poem is "Thanks for the Garlic". You are a beautiful, amazing Apprentice Elder and someone I definitely will emulate in my own journey to become......
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