Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping and Epic, March 18, 2000
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
Gwendolyn Brooks is one of my favorite poets and this anthology of her work gives a glimpsing answer to the question 'why?' "Blacks" is a veritae encyclopedia of the America experience written in Brooks' lucid but unsettling style.
It's people like T.S Eliot which make us think art is an inclusive privilege of a born, elite few. And then artists -like Brooks- go right along and prove that, at its best, art is inclusive, fun and thought-provoking. Rather than tying itself up in esoteric knots, Brooks' poetry flows along personal but recognizable paths that most blacks have experienced at one time or another.
I go to Northwestern U. and we've had the privilege of her speaking at our school many times. And after meeting her my respect only grew.
Forever "young, gifted and black" Gwedolyn Brooks deserves nothing less than the attention given to the likes of Langston Hughes or Phylis Wheatley. This books shows us why.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late Great American Writer's Collection of Standards, December 13, 2004
By 
Lou "battlecatsudi" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
Its been a few years since I thought about this book. I was searching around suggested items from Amazon, and memories of this great writer came rushing back to me. This book is a collection of poems, short stories, a novel, highlights from several decades of excellent writing. I wish Chicago would do more to honor her like Europe honors their great writers regardless of race. Anyway, Ms. Brook's poetry is influenced by the classical literature she studied during her time and she takes that style to the south side of inner city of black Chicago. The results are poems that feel quiet, calm, much like the demeanor she displayed when she was alive. However she can communicate anger, depression , anguish, without hitting you across the head with it. This changes a little when you read through some of her sixtites work such as the "Riot" which describes the riot in the sixties after Dr. King was assasinated. I find myself missing her reading "We real cool" but at least I have this and other books from her memory alive in me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent poetry, June 8, 2003
By 
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
A collection of poetry by Brooks, probably the most honored African- American poet. It also includes "Maud Martha," Brooks' single novel to date. I liked the novel, but felt it was a little too much for me. I like poetry, but I think I like it in small doses, where I can relax and read and reread it without concentrating on how much time it is taking me to do so. Her fiction is like poetry, in the sense that it had as much to do with the vision of things as it did with the characterization or the plot. This is my failing as a reader: I've never cared that much for description, and the longer it continues, the more likely I am to tune out.
But the short poems here, especially from her earlier period, I like a lot. The subjects are strong and powerful, the economy and purpose of the prose admirable. One of my favorites was a poem called "Queen of the Blues," which contrasted the stage persona of a Billie Holliday-like singer with the treatment she receives as an African-American woman. Queen or no queen, she still has the blues. Or "The Murder," about a young boy who sits his toddler brother on fire then doesn't understand when the little brother isn't around afterwards. I did not care as much for her later poems, which were much more experimental in form and harder to follow in content.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooks has "a long reach, / strong speech", October 24, 2001
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
"Blacks" is a collection of several decades' worth of the work of Gwendolyn Brooks, who is one of the most significant figures in 20th century American poetry. At over 500 pages long, "Blacks" is a truly monumental text. Included are several books in their entirety ("Annie Allen," "In the Mecca," etc.) as well as excerpts from some later books ("Primer for Blacks," "The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems," etc.). Although most of the books represented are works of poetry, "Blacks" also contains the text of Brooks' 1953 novel "Maud Martha."
Brooks is a stylistic virtuoso, proficient with the sonnet, ballad, free verse, and other forms. She is an expert with alliteration, rhyme, and other musical effects. Her vocabulary is encyclopedic; she evokes not only African-American vernacular speech, but also the entire sweeping history of the literary tradition in English. In this collection are both short poems and longer poems.
Many of Brooks' poems deal with aspects of African-American life. She writes of anti-Black violence and other forms of racism, and reflects upon enduring figures in African-American cultural history. She also writes of family relationships and intimate personal crises.
Her novel, "Maud Martha," is a poetic chronicle of the life of a dark-skinned urban Black girl. We follow Maud Martha through her girlhood, marriage, and motherhood. "Maud Martha" is a memorable vision of an African-American woman's life, and, in my opinion, should stand beside such literary works as Harriet Jacobs' "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God," and Audre Lorde's "Zami."
Of Brooks' long poems, I found the most memorable to be "In the Mecca," a tragic and haunting narrative poem that takes place in a Chicago apartment building. "In the Mecca" is a sort of urban, African-American "Odyssey" in which we encounter the various inhabitants of this world.
In her poetic tribute to Langston Hughes, Brooks writes that he has "a long reach, / strong speech." I would say the same of Brooks. Her amazing body of work deserves to reach into the 21st century and beyond.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An indispensible volume, August 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blacks (Hardcover)
This is the only edition of Gwendolyn Brooks's poems that is complete until the mid-1980s. Brooks is one of the most important American poets of the 20th century, and there is much to be learned by following her career in detail, from one volume to the next. She published the volume with Third world Press to give a black-owned publishing house the business--a typical choice for Brooks, who throughout her career has supported African American arts publishing, nurtured younger black writers, and made choices about how to invest her energies as a poet that are both politically savvy and humane. There are, in short, many good reasons to buy this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Brooks best writings, January 30, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
This book contains some of Gwendolyn Brooks best poetry. It is definitely a keeper!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Service, August 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blacks (Paperback)
I received my order very quickly,which was important because it's a book for school. The book was listed as used, but it honestly could pass for new. I'm very happy with the product and the service.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Blacks
Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks (Paperback - January 1, 1994)
Used & New from: $10.59
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.