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Selected Poems Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (July 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882969
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Annie Allen and one of the most celebrated African American poets. She was Poet Laureate for the state of Illinois, a National Women's Hall of Fame inductee, and a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received fifty honorary degrees. Her other books include a Street in Bronzeville, In the Mecca, The Bean Eaters, and Maud Martha.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Fitton on September 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is fine anthology. Unfortunately it doesn't include her later work. But the poetry is so compelling that I purchased another anthology that does have later work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carine Topal on July 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book to an18 year old poet and she memorized several of the poems immediately. She loved the book and is interested in buying another collection by Brooks
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Format: Paperback
Everything changed in the 1960s, but the seeds of change were planted long before. One of those seeds was the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, an explosion of African-American culture centered in New York and embracing literature, music, theater, painting, and more. Associated with the renaissance were names like Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, W.E. B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes. It was an amazing period in African-American cultural history, and an amazing period for African-American poets and poems. One of the beneficiaries of the period was poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

Almost 40 years after the renaissance, Brooks (1917-2000) wrote this poem about Langston Hughes:

Langston Hughes (1963)

is merry glory.
Is salutatory.
Yet grips his right of twisting free.

Has a long reach,
Strong speech,
Remedial fears.
Muscular tears.

Holds horticulture
In the eye of the vulture
Inform profession.
In the compression—
In mud and blood and sudden death—
In the breath
Of the holocaust he
Is helmsman, hatchet, headlight.
See
One restless in the exotic time! and ever,
Till the air is cured of its fever.

Born in Topeka, Kansas, Brooks spent virtually her entire life in Chicago. Her parents, a janitor and a schoolteacher, enouraged her desire for reading and writing. She published her first poem at 13, and her first poetry collection at 28. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1950; she was 33 and the first African-American to win any Pulitzer Prize. Later she became the first African-American woman to become consultant to the Library of Congress (which we now call Poet Laureate).
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