HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999)

by Ai

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1654124,995 (3.79)8
"Collected here are poems from Ai's previous five books - Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed - along with seventeen new poems. Employing her trademark force, these new dramatic monologues continue to mine this award-winning poet's fierce vision. In Ai's world, desire has no boundaries. Known as the foremost poet of urban terror, part African American, Asian American, and Native American, Ai takes the reader on a journey into the heart, torn from the bared chests of the living and sacrificed to the ravenous dead."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 8 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
did not enjoy any of these poems in this book ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 8, 2016 |
did not enjoy any of these poems in this book ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 2, 2016 |
Ai is the master of persona poetry. I prefer the work in Vice that comes from her earlier collections. It is blunt, bold, and true to each persona. In the latter works, she uses more rhyme, mainly of the internal and slant varieties, that to me feels disingenuous with both the subject matter and the speaker. A possible exception to that is in the poem (and forgive me if I don't have this title exactly right as I don't have the book in front of me) "Paparazzi" where it works to light-speed staccato effect. Overall a stunning collection demonstrative of a stunning (and missed!) talent. ( )
  plenilune | Jul 3, 2010 |
Three Contemporary Poets: (2) Ai

Cruelty.
Killing Floor.
Sin.
Fate.
Greed.
Vice.

Believe it or not, but these are actually the titles of poetry books by the National Book Award winning Poet Ai written in 1973, 1979, 1986, 1991, 1993 and 1999 respectively.

I remember an intense conversation last fall in my Philosophy Senior Seminar on Aesthetics debating whether things that are morally repulsive could actually be aesthetically pleasing. Can "sins", the replication of them or the portray of them be considered art? Could one rightfully consider it beautiful. In the class, the professor used a early 20th century Hitler/Nazi propaganda film which apparently is known for it's cinematography. I speak (ein bisschen) German-- and I wasn't impressed. So at the time, I was leaning towards no. Perhaps I was leaning past no.

And yet, ironically, I love Ai's poetry.

It did not dawn on me until I recently revisited Vice, that there is a contradiction in my line of thinking. Ai's poetry truly portrays the depth of human cruelty and severity. The poetry is beautifully repulsive. The poems are beautiful, the content is often unbearable.

Abortion

Coming home, I find you still in bed,
but when I pull back the blanket
I see your stomach is flat as an iron.
You've done it, as you warned me you would
and left the fetus wrapped in wax paper
for me to look at. My son.
Woman, loving you no matter what you do,
what can I say, except that I've heard
the poor have no children, just small people
and there is room only for one man in this house.

So was I a hypocrite to argue whole-heartedly in class that the the film was not beautiful, and inately could not be. Perhaps I could not detach my understanding of history from the impact of art. Or perhaps, the difference between the film and this poetry is intent. Ai is not writing with intent to promote human cruelty. Ai is simply revealing the truth. Is the intent important in the result of art?

from Interview with a Policeman

You say you want this story
in my own words,
but you won't tell it my way.
Reporters never do.
If everybodys's racist,
that means you too.
I grab your finger
as you jab it at my chest.
So what, the minicam caught that?
You want to know all about it, right?=
the liquor store, the black kid
who pulled his gun
at the wrong time.
You saw the dollars he fell on an bloodied.
Remeber how cold it was that night,
but I was sweating.
I'd worked hard, I was through
for twenty-four hours,
and I wanted som brew.
When I heard a show,
I tunred and saw the clerk
with his hands in the air,
saw the kind drop his gon
as I yelled and ran from the back.
I only fired when he bent down,
picked up his gun, and dropped it again...

Tonight, though, for a while you'll lie awake.
You'll hear the sound of gunshots
in someone else's neighborhood,
then, comforted, turn over in your bed
and close your eyes,
but the boy like a shark redeemed at last
yet unrepentant
will reenter your life
by the unlocked door of sleep
to take everything but his fury back.

I haven't found a writing group, yet. I do not yet have a mentor. I do not have a teacher, nor a class. So, sometimes I live and learn vicariously through my older brother, his class with their teacher. Ai was on the required/recommended reading list that I stole a glance at. Ai? Two letters. I wanted to know what it means. Male, female? Asian? Black? Native. Ai is the Japanese word for love. Her ancestry is Asian, Black, Native American and Irish. As I type, I wonder how much race matters. Now, and when she was growing up in Texas. Nonetheless, Ai is truely a gift from God helping us to understand the depths of our own fear, insecurity and vulnerability.

Love,

Lhea J

http://blackbookshelf.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_blackbookshelf_archive.html ( )
  LheaJLove | Aug 13, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"Collected here are poems from Ai's previous five books - Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed - along with seventeen new poems. Employing her trademark force, these new dramatic monologues continue to mine this award-winning poet's fierce vision. In Ai's world, desire has no boundaries. Known as the foremost poet of urban terror, part African American, Asian American, and Native American, Ai takes the reader on a journey into the heart, torn from the bared chests of the living and sacrificed to the ravenous dead."--BOOK JACKET.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.79)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 2
2.5
3 11
3.5 1
4 9
4.5
5 11

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 155,742,292 books! | Top bar: Always visible