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Mad Dogs of Trieste: New & Selected Poems

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1574231281
ISBN-10: 1574231286
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

The Underground Railroad
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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Associated with poets growing out of the Beat movement, Vega's verse is at the well-measured and understated end of its spectrum. This 12th collection presents a generous cull of her work from the '70s, '80s and '90s,invoking the direct, even neoclassical energies felt within Corso and di Prima, and fortified by a Keatsian living lyricism. In "Little Ghost in the Station," she writes, "`Poor John is dead,' he sang,/ and now it was winter, quiet at the window,/ and she did not need a cigarette/ she needed to weep." A member of PEN's Prison Writing Committee, Vega has taught poetry in prisons for twenty years and is currently director of Incisions/Arts, an organization of writers working with people in prison. Some of Vega's overtly political poems reflect a deeply felt and aching knowledge that has tempered and fortified a poignant view of nature, human or otherwise: "just because fields are ready for/ planting doesn't mean/ the corn's already down there, green and/ waiting, or that raccoons will scream/ at night, their hands heavy with plunder/ might, might not be/ might, might not, the chattering crows/ wheel off." In other poems there is a note of passionate response to the death of the speaker's father, mother, friends, that show death as a natural fulfillment life. In a heartfelt elegy for Allen Ginsberg she writes, "Don't be sorry, you said, speaking/ of your death,/ I've been waiting all my life for this." Spanning over three decades and four continents--stops include Mexico, El Salvador, the former Czechoslovakia, Peru, Ireland, France, Holland, and all manner of locations in the U.S. and upstate New York--Vega's poems "go," (as Kerouac said, but with a difference) in their own patient, unadorned and dignified way. (Aug.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Arranged in six sections, Vega!s 12th book of poems provides an in-depth tour of her poetic oeuvre. Each section echoes Vega!s recurrent themes: nature, death, prisoners, family history, and travels in Ireland and in South America. This collection, like many of the individual poems in it, could have used some editorial winnowing. Though Vega often shows a deftness of touch and a keen ear for language, the shorter poems are more powerful: dear butter/ your blues/ your mouth harp sweet/ chicago/ winter nights. In poem after poem, Vega shows herself to be an adept poet of place"as in the title poem, which describes a cafe in Les Halles: after a night we could find the strong/ men from the market/ and the beautiful prostitutes/ resting in each other!s arms/ Le Chat Qui PIche, Le Chien Qui Fume/ alive with Parisian waltzes, his hands on her ass. Unfortunately, when Vega tackles political issues, polemics dominate: Dear Nuclear Commission: Don!t you have children?/ Or grandchildren? What about them? But when she writes from the heart"as in To You on the Other Side of This, a love poem to a murdered son as well as a battle cry of anger directed at his killer"we are immediately drawn in. Recommended for larger poetry collections and all academic ones."Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Books (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574231286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574231281
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,938,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Charles B. Taylor on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This lovely book, perhaps one of the last before Black Sparrow was sold by John Martin and moved from California to New York, gives you great poems by the best of the woman beats, in my opinion. You get fine poems from Vega's vast world travel, painful poems out of her experience as a writer teaching in prisons such as Soledad and Sing Sing, and generous touching poems for her old beat buddies, like Allen Ginsberg, Ray Bremser, Elise Cowan, and Herbert Hunke. Every poem rings with rhythm and taunt music. The poet still hopes we can greet the next millennium, despite ecological damage, with respect. As Ginsberg did in his poem "Ode to Failiure," she acknowledges that her generation's goals for change were not achieved, but maintains a hope we also find in I Am Delighted That You are Here: Prose Poems
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