Appalachian Elegy, by bell hooks

There are 66 poems and an opening essay. The poems are titled by sequential numbers and indexed by their first lines. the poems read as one long poem transitioning through observation, mediation, incantation, and lament on the environment and history of the land, covering wild life, natural occurrences,  warfare, mountain top removal. The poems are very concise and brief and flow well from one poem to the next. Also, with this publication, my first read of Hooks’ poetry, she has added to the growing tome of Afri-lachian art and literature and African writers who write about the  environment.

Although I re-read this volume several times, I could never get inside these poems.  There was never a poem or even a phrase that struck my spirit and repeatedly felt like I was observing the ideas and even the poems themselves as if I was walking through a museum ..observe but not touching.  I didn’t like that feeling and kept trying to re-enter.  Hooks’ books, (i.e. essays, memoirs) have always caused a shift, a questioning of assumptions so I was disappointed that my autographed copy didn’t resonate.

 

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Filed under Environment, Poetry

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