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Picasso in Barcelona

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0983160618
ISBN-10: 0983160619
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Recently dubbed a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" by the New York Times Magazine and featured in a Henry Louis Gates, Jr. profile in The New Yorker, Bob Holman has previously been crowned "Ringmaster of the Spoken Word" (New York Daily News), "Poetry Czar" (Village Voice), "Dean of the Scene" (Seventeen), and "this generation's Ezra Pound" (Poetry Flash).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Paper Kite Press (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983160619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983160618
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,357,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Roy E. Whitman on June 6, 2011
I must be shedding gringo tears because I am not sure whether I am ululating or weeping over Bob Holman's new collection of poems entitled `picasso in barcelona' published this year by Paper Kite Press of the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area. The poems in the first half of the book are wimpy and emaciated without much substance or body but wild in imagery and crude sexual references. In the second half dubbed the "dance mix" version, the previous jingles are strung together giving them a meatier and healthier glow (and they are beautifully translated into Spanish). Is the gringo laughing or crying? You tell me. On the other hand, the lightness and brevity of the poems is like breathing in and out, easy and natural. I guess I would call the poems wispy. They can be a breath of fresh air if read without the need of cliff notes or mental gymnastics.

But don't cry for this Spaniard just yet. And pretend laughter was not invented either. For the subject matter of these poems is the early childhood/teen years of famed painter Pablo Picasso, who was born in Malaga, Spain in 1881. Although wispy yet wimpy, the poems explore Picasso's art, his passion, his homeland. Holman's attempt to say much about the early inspiration of such a great artist in his adopted city of Barcelona without saying much at all......remember the whole `less is more' thing?.......falls flat and rings a little hollow. To be perfectly honest, when I first heard the title `picasso in barcelona,' I envisioned epic-style poetry along the lines of Shakespeare or Cervantes that might weave a storyline in say a more flowery manner. Of course, I realize that style of poetry is outdated and instead Holman offers a snapshot rendition to Picasso's early life and inspiration in Barcelona.
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