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How to Be Drawn (Poets, Penguin) by Terrance…
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How to Be Drawn (Poets, Penguin)

by Terrance Hayes

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Brilliant poetry. A fearless and well-crafted excursion into the possibilities of form, always grounded to the real world, the personal at the core of each poem's subject matter. These poems leap (as Robert Bly recommends they should) and also transform right before your eyes, the way some formal poetry can with an image or object that keeps coming back to stabilize the structure but means something different each time. It is like a well planned but utterly surprising light show.
As a writer, I found myself rereading poems over and over, asking how he accomplished this or that. I will go back to these poems many more times.
There is a large intelligence behind this work. The historical knowledge and the awareness of poetry's history are subtle but everywhere. And the poems that focus on social justice (mostly race, but class and other issues are there) are amazing--revelatory, powerful, heart-stopping. The poems about racism and its history are strong medicine, and manage to deliver their message with excellent craft, deep compassion, and long arms that embrace the reader as they shake your heart. ( )
  bjellis | Jun 19, 2017 |
When Terrance Hayes is on, he is on fire. Unfortunately, only a handful of poems in this collection really did it for me (typically his poems on race, for whatever that's worth). Personal faves include: "As Traffic", "Elegy With Zombies For Life", "Antebellum House Party", and "Black Confederate Ghost Story". ( )
  williecostello | Jan 13, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143126881, Paperback)

A dazzling new collection of poetry by Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award–winning author of Lighthead

In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes’s background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the
principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes’s award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes's background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes's award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.… (more)

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