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Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems (A Palm of Her Hand Project) Hardcover – October 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
There are so many moving, beautiful poems included here. They require not explication but rather reading and enjoying. One hardly knows where to start. She pays tribute to cows, their sacredness and their dilemma in "La Vaga." She remembers her black Lab in "My Teacher." "The World Has Changed" I believe she wrote in honor of President Obama. She in the poem "Sixty-five" cannot believe that she is this old-- talk about a poem being universal--
In "We Pay A Visit to Those Who Play At Being Dead" she reminds us that we become our parents as we age:
Ms. Walker has written two instructive poems on the destructiveness and futility on hatred in "Watching You Hold Your Hatred" (Watching you/hold/your/hatred/for such a long time/I wonder:/Isn't it/slippery?/Might you/not/someday/drop it/on/yourself?) and "The Taste of Grudge": ("What a waste/ is any kind/of/grudge.")
"Word Has Reached Me" is a poignant poem to her dying sister as Ms. Walker seeks to make peace with her and prays that she will let go and die in peace as well:
I sent word
to you that both our parents
--all, whatever it was
Grandpa & Grandma
are waiting too.Read more ›
Alice Walker's 2010 collection of poems is like a perfect stroll through the park. Her words are approachable and cloaked in a sagacious womanhood. They are simple yet no to be rushed through. Like any poetry, they deserve a reading, a meditation, and a re-read. Several of the pieces have an anecdotal quality as in "You confide in Me" where Walker's subject lacks a sofa which hints at a lack or inability of intimacy.
Walker doesn't shy away from any topic. She speaks on the unwieldiness of hatred, acceptance of and beauty in the imperfect, and reminds us of our responsibility to protect the Earth. She also devotes two very personal pieces--one to her estranged daughter on love and freedom and the other to her unknown grandchild.
This may be the first time I've encountered a collection of poems that I wanted to keep next to my bed. Each poem is like a breath or wisp of wind. The illustrations throughout add a beautiful, ethereal feeling to these words that celebrate every aspect of life.
I will keep/broken things./I will keep/you:/
The poetic structure is simple and contemplative. There isn't much movement in the verse; it reads much like pages taken from the Tao Te Ching. For example, in her poem, "Rich" - a fairly simplistic if not didactic view of earthly wealth over worldly concerns - the first stanza reads:
This stanza highlighted a few of the negative thoughts I had upon my first reading of the book. The image of a garden above a purse of gold, the poem's later depiction of Wall Street as a dragon felt stale and ineffective to me. The line spacing and lack of dynamic verse seemed only to belabor the easy-enough-to-understand anti-materialistic view of the poet. Other poems elicit similar reactions from me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best thing about this book was the title. Poems seem to be very underdeveloped and unrefined; sometimes they include interesting lines or ideas but as a whole the book is not... Read morePublished 4 months ago by linnea s. turner
I love the poems and the illustrations -- I've given this book as a gift on numerous occasions, and refer to it regularly myself.Published 9 months ago by Elizabeth L. Vitale
This book is amazing. It helps me put life into perspective. I lent it to someone who didn't give it back, so I have bought it twice. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Beth Erika
Having read several of Walker's novels, it was a great pleasure to be introduced to her poetry. Like most poetry by African American writers, it just sings of the passion and life... Read morePublished 20 months ago by James D. Held
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker is a remarkable writer, her best known work of course being, The Color Purple. Read morePublished on October 3, 2013 by Sheri Newton
There seems to have been a long break since we had something from Alice Walker. Her title tells the story. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by bev henwood
This item arrived with promptness and great care. I am very pleased to have purchashed another excellent book by my favorite author.Published on January 26, 2013 by Carla Walker