By Reginald Shepherd
"Orpheus within the Bronx not just extols the liberty language offers us; it embodies that freedom, enacting poetry's maximum gift---the energy to acknowledge ourselves as anything except what we're. those bracing arguments have been written by way of a poet who sings."
A hugely acute author, student, editor, and critic, Reginald Shepherd brings to his paintings the sensibilities of a classicist and a latest theorist, an heir of the yank excessive modernist canon, and a poet drawing and taking part in on pop culture, whereas at the same time venturing into formal experimentation.
In the essays gathered the following, Shepherd deals probing meditations unified by way of a "resolute safeguard 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 adolescence; the break out provided through books and "gifted" prestige preserved through maternal selection; early loss and the similar 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, offers a clean view of where of city panorama in American poetry.
Throughout his essays---as in his poetry---Shepherd juxtaposes unabashed lyricism, old information, and in-your-face contemporaneity, bristling with intelligence.
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