By Reginald Shepherd
"Orpheus within the Bronx not just extols the liberty language presents us; it embodies that freedom, enacting poetry's maximum gift---the energy to acknowledge ourselves as whatever except what we're. those bracing arguments have been written via a poet who sings."
A hugely acute author, pupil, editor, and critic, Reginald Shepherd brings to his paintings the sensibilities of a classicist and a latest theorist, an heir of the yankee excessive modernist canon, and a poet drawing and taking part in on pop culture, whereas concurrently venturing into formal experimentation.
In the essays amassed right here, Shepherd bargains probing meditations unified by means of a "resolute security of poetry's autonomy, and a party of the liberatory and utopian chances such autonomy offers." one of the items integrated are an eloquent autobiographical essay commencing within the frankest phrases the vicissitudes of a Bronx ghetto formative years; the break out provided by means of books and "gifted" prestige preserved by way of maternal decision; early loss and the an identical of exile; and the formation of the writer's vocation. With an identical frankness that he brings to autobiography, Shepherd additionally units out his purposes for rejecting "identity politics" in poetry as an pointless trammeling of literary mind's eye. His examine of the "urban pastoral," from Baudelaire via Eliot, Crane, and Gwendolyn Brooks, to Shepherd's personal paintings, presents a clean view of where of city panorama in American poetry.
Throughout his essays---as in his poetry---Shepherd juxtaposes unabashed lyricism, ancient wisdom, and in-your-face contemporaneity, bristling with intelligence.
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