Once: Poems by Alice Walker

By Alice Walker

Alice Walker's first released ebook collects poems written as a pupil and on her first stopover at to Africa For readers looking the origins of Alice Walker's effective, certain voice, this assortment will supply abundant perception. Composed whereas she used to be nonetheless a pupil at Sarah Lawrence university within the overdue Sixties, those poems are already engaged with a number of the ethical dilemmas that experience outlined Walker's whole occupation. Luminous vignettes from her first journey to Africa fall down to reflections at the flourishing civil rights circulation, whereas a watch for the transformative energy of affection and wonder run via all twenty-seven entries. Walker's skills are prodigious, but it's her natural ethical and aesthetic readability that provoke so much during this debut paintings. This publication good points an illustrated biography of Alice Walker together with infrequent pictures from the author's own assortment.

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Extra resources for Once: Poems

Example text

I can't tell you how it labors with its grilled storefronts, air rushing over the facts of diamonds, appliances, the trick carnations. But you already know that. T h e M-16 Vinnie sent - piece by piece - from Vietnam is right where you left it the day you skipped town with the usherette of the Paradise Triple-X Theater. You liked the way she played her flashlight down those rows of men, plaster angels flanked around that screen. Sometimes you'd go fire rounds over the landfill, said it felt better than crystal meth, a hit that leaves a trail of neon, ether.

We'd graduated that year, called the city ours, a real bed of Garden State roses. I've drawn x's over our eyes in the snapshot Vinnie took commencement night, a line of x's over our linked hands. T h e quartet onstage behind us sang a cappella - four brothers from Springfield Ave. spinning in sequined tuxedos, palms outstretched to the crowd, the Latin girls from Ironbound shimmering in the brief conflagration of their beauty, before the kids, before the welfare motels, corridors of cries and exhalations.

Each day I learn more of the miraculous. 's, her gin hallucinations. T h e willow on the lawn is bare, almost flagrant in the wind off Baltimore harbor. She wants me to brush her hair Some mornings I'd hear her sing to herself numbers she knew by heart from nightclubs on the waterfront circuit. I wondered if she watched herself dissolve in the mirror as shadows flickered, then whispering gathered. Floating up the airshaft her hoarse contralto broke over "I Should Care," "Unforgettable," and in that voice everything she remembered - the passage from man to man, a sequence of hands undressing her, letting her fall like the falling syllables of rain she loves, of steam, those trains and ships that leave.

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