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The Elements of San Joaquin by Gary Soto
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The Elements of San Joaquin

by Gary Soto

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I met Gary a long time ago (1990's) at an author gig where we were on the same panel. I'm sure he doesn't remember me, but I remember him as open, friendly, vulnerable. I liked him immediately. The poems in this early collection were written 20 years before that meeting. These are the poems of an angry young man, but also a man who is open and vulnerable and clearly talented at writing. Subjects include rape, field work, poverty, hard times. And occasionally, the wonder of the world:

Stars

At dusk the first stars appear.
Not one eager finger points toward them.
A little later the stars spread with the night
And an orange moon rises
To lead them, like a shepherd, toward dawn.


In another poem he writes:

One hundred years from now
There should be no reason to believe
I lived.


Not so, Gary, not so... ( )
  JoeCottonwood | Apr 1, 2013 |
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