4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and Complex Urban Poet,
This review is from: Ostinato Vamps: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) (Paperback)
In this book, I'm talking back the rhythms that were stolen from my people. Our society has suppressed the spirit of African Americans, yet when I look around me and in the media, everybody is walking, talking and singing like black people. ~Wanda Coleman
Wanda Coleman's poems are wildly complex in form and I will admit to only understanding about a third of the hidden meanings. As I read her poems I am walking down dark streets when suddenly I turn a page and I am suddenly at home with a series of words. Then, I am thrown into a word maze again where words like odalisque, pandemic and narcoleptic pull my eyes hungrily across the pages of hurricane thoughts.
Wanda is known as an Urban Poet who has a love for unvarnished truth. She comments on everything from politics to hot love. Her poems dance with their own rhythm and are especially beautiful when she lets her goddess out to play. She is known for being one of the nation's best poet-performers.
While the complexity is inspiring and Wanda's use of words, stunning...I was so happy to find my way to the humor in "The History of My Body." Deep emotions dance between her words and sometimes she blatantly expresses inner torments like when she writes: "I have wrung my heart/in secret silence." At times her words seem to roll in hot lust or spring from the page in a mind jolting punch.
Wanda's poems inspire me to write and write. I write my own poems after reading her poems and I am amazed at how such complexity inspires my own awakening to myself. I understand her musings on some primal level where poets sometimes live but at times her language flies above me and I can't grasp at the meaning no matter how much I try. Sometimes I am so pleased to understand an entire poem and then I can wander through pages before enlightenment strikes again.
By the time I arrived at "Soul Traveler" I was writing my own poems. That is how much this book inspired me.
The poems are challenging and interesting and the vocabulary and visual images are just stunning:
...in rainbow-colored moss. There she thrived in volcanic
radiance & iridescent splendor yet she pined for
another world made steel by her false imaginings & in
the pitch of her moonless golden-apple grove she danced
her dissatisfactions amongst ghosts...
To write this way! What a dream.
~The Rebecca Review