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Against Which (New Voices) Paperback – October 31, 2006
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
In terms of Ross Gay's Against Which, how should I incorporate what I take to be poems from an imagined speaker, or poems of an exaggerated truth, when it feels that one of the book's central events is Gay's father's death? The effect is not to cause a dissonance as fact runs against fiction. Instead, what I find is a book whose overwhelming argument is life. And the humanity that roots that life to us will use whatever means necessary to testify to its existence. Violence. Ego. Racism. Adoration. All sentiments, every sentiment is at play here.Read more ›
After Stern's foreword (in which he devotes space for a full transcription of two of Ross's poems) we get into the poetry. The first line that Gay presents, "maybe, since you're something like me", sets the tone for the rest of the book. I got the feel that he intends to treat me as a kindred spirit and so I buckled up and let him take me on this ride. The poetry shines particularly bright like diamonds (Gay seems to especially like diamonds, using the image in multiple poems) when it feels autobiographical. In one poem he addresses what it's like growing up as a half African American in the United States. We see Gay repressing his anger when he shares an experience of being jeered at for keeping the company of a white girl. After this he arrives home to his white mother who has made sloppy joes--as American as apple pie--from scratch for dinner. He walks home with fists balled in his pockets, but doesn't mention the incident to his mother.
The entire first segment explores ideas of unfairness and the anger and gratitude that the unfair can elicit. In "Hernia" he writes an ode to basketball, shamelessly telling the sport, "I love you". In this poem he explores the depth of love he feels once something he values is taken away (even if only for a month).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This collection of poetry is gorgeous, thought-provoking, and important. You don't have to be a poet, or a poetry expert, to be able to feel and understand these poems, yet reading... Read morePublished on April 10, 2014 by Careful Reader