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San Miguel De Allende Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Swan Books; 1st edition (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940429144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940429147
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,090,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Andrew Oerke's poetry is original, vivid and eloquent. I read his work with great pleasure and enlightenment. --Harold Bloom

Andrew Oerke writes with enormous depth of feeling and mastery of form. His poems are an American treasure. --Jewel Spears Brooker

About the Author

Described by the New York Times as "a poet whose muse is the world" Andrew Oerke has lived many lives. He served as a Peace Corps director in Africa and the Caribbean, is a Golden Gloves champ, football player, university professor and Poet-in-Residence, but also a US Korean War Veteran, World Bank consultant and environmental expert. His work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker, The New Republic Poetry, Mademoiselle and in many other publications both in the US and abroad. In 2003 he was given the award for literature by the United Nations Society of Writers.

More About the Author

Described by the New York Times as "a poet whose muse is the world" Andrew Oerke has lived many lives. He served as a Peace Corps director in Africa and the Caribbean, is a Golden Gloves champ, football player, university professor and Poet-in-Residence, but also a US Korean War Veteran, World Bank consultant and environmental expert. His work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker, The New Republic Poetry, Mademoiselle and in many other publications both in the US and abroad. In 2003 he was given the award for literature by the United Nations Society of Writers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1964-66)

ANDREW OERKE'S San Miguel de Allende and African Stiltdancer won the 2006 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Books published in 2005. They are a dazzling combination of philosophical musings on history and human culture presented through a bombardment of visual images and colors. Judging the quality of poetry is an impossible task. Subjectivity and personal tastes are unavoidable. Many of Oerke's poems, in my opinion, are too convoluted with constant use of personification, rapid shifts in images, and frequent mixing of sensory experiences. An example is the poem "Moonlight," in which he writes, "Moments . . . / teeter their columns on cliffs of time, / then whiff off through the smoky, / hazy arches of our climate," and "Your champagne eyes fizz away / like seconds uncorking the clock / to hive in the moon's Rosetta rock." The word "hive" contains the clue to understanding much of Oerke's poetry. It is commonly used in science fiction to mean "group minds with (almost) complete loss (or lack) of individuality, identity, and personhood," according to The Free Dictionary on line. At his best, Oerke is as good as any American poet writing today. His concrete images and extended metaphors guide us through the shadowy past of the collective unconscious. Two good examples in San Miguel de Allende are "Tres Arcos, San Miguel de Allende" and "Buildings, San Miguel de Allende." In "Tres Arcos" Oerke explains the construction of native Mexican, Spanish, and Roman arches as "Ways to express our values in limestone." Arches "stand akimbo like film directors / Cropping our looking out or someone's looking in." Oerke uses Spanish and Indian architecture to illustrate how space is the essence of design in the poem "Buildings.
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