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Fast Speaking Woman by Anne Waldman

Fast Speaking Woman (1975)

by Anne Waldman

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The sheer musicality of Waldman's verse is so addictive, it makes skimming through this book of chants a delight. Even though (and I'm sure Waldman would agree) these verses are not meant to be solely read, but meant to be heard and performed, one can still appreciate the "beat" and passion put behind these words from reading them. To really get the feel of the beat, her best and in my opinion most accessible chants are the ones with heavy repetition on key words or phrases. I look at the poems "Lady Tactics" and "Musical Garden" and really can feel the tempo clicking away. As for the context of the poems, I really can't relate or say that I totally follow her, but I don't think that doesn't mean I can't enjoy these poems. I encourage anyone trying to get into the beat poetry style to check her stuff out, and better yet, if you can see her perform, or find recordings of her reciting her poems, you can really get an idea of what Anne Waldman is all about. ( )
  WashburnJ | Sep 11, 2012 |
While Waldman's talent for language is not in question, I found it hard to relate to much of this volume. It is a shame, but few of the poems seem to have withstood the test of time - am I really concerned as a woman today that my multiple roles are not recognized by society? Do I really believe that Eastern Religion and philosophy are so exotic?

I realize no one can predict the validity of things thirty years into the future, but I think this also speaks to the way in which one writes verse. There's a balance to be struck between the universal and personal and if it tilts too far in either direction one either ends up with treacle or something that can become far to dated. I suppose I'd choose dated over treacle. ( )
  stephmo | May 27, 2009 |
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"Not myself goes home to myself."

- John Keats
to Ted Berrigan & Allen Ginsberg

& for Martha Rockwell
First words
after Korinna

all the city is delighted with the

clear water of

my plaintive voice

- Greek, 6th century
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0872863166, Paperback)

This expanded edition of Anne Waldman's poems and essays adds 20 poems and three essays to the original. Published in City Lights' Pocket Poets series, the collection is the perfect size to carry in a pocket or purse. The poems, however, are powerhouses meant to be read aloud. Waldman reigns as queen of the performance poem; in this book she focuses on the chant and the ritual rant. She's "here to sing the power," and, believe me, you can feel it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:32 -0400)

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