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How to Love a Country: Poems

by Richard Blanco

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5312358,429 (4.42)31
"The diverse poems in this collection form a mosaic of seemingly varied topics: the Pulse Nightclub massacre; an unexpected encounter on a visit to Cuba; the forced exile of 8,500 Navajos in 1868; the arrival of a young Chinese woman at Angel Island in 1938; the incarceration of a gifted writer; and the poet's abiding love for his partner, who he is finally allowed to wed. But despite each poem's unique subject matter or occasion, all are fundamentally asking one overwhelming question: how to love this country? Seeking answers, Blanco digs deep into the very marrow of our nation--our cities and towns--with poems that interrogate our past and present, grieve our injustices and note our flaws, yet remember to celebrate our ideals and cling to our hopes. Blanco unravels the very fabric of the American narrative, pursuing a resolution to the inherent contradiction of our nation's psyche and mandate: e pluribus unum (out of many, one), charged with the utopian idea that no single narrative is more important than another, and that America could and ought someday to be a county where all narratives converge into one. A country in which we can all truly thrive and truly love"--… (more)

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A book of poems that really showed that poems can be honest and beautiful at the same time. They showed that no matter what happens good or bad that we can have a bright happy future, even with all the problems today.
A good book for people who believe that poems have to be love and peace. Poems are also great for telling a story of today and open the eyes of people. I would definitely tell people to at least try it.....

This review was written for LibraryThing. ( )
  Hillgirl | Jul 1, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this collection of poems that are as powerful as they are timely, Blanco's work manages to marry hope for a better future with critiques of the present. Some of these poems come like a steel-toed kick to the gut, even as lyricism gives way to clever--and sometimes painful--truth, while others are quieter, but no less powerful for that apparent peace.

This is a timely collection that is worth reading, teaching, and sharing, and it's one I'll come back to. Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | May 5, 2020 |
I've returned to this very timely poetry collection again and again over the past few months. I'll write a more complete review later. ( )
  Empty-Mirror | Sep 27, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Blanco's "How to Love a Country" is a wonderful expression of not only his personal struggles and triumphs, but an intelligent observation of the American ego(s). His poetry tackles racism, sexism, culture, tribalism, and what it is to be human. Poems such as "Easy Lynching on Herndon Avenue" capture the dark parts of our American story; but; where this book really succeeds is offering the reader a taste of optimism within the American human condition. "How to Love a Country" is a book that should share space on your library with the great poets of the 21st century. ( )
  jamesgwld | Sep 15, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am so glad I requested this collection from LTER. I honestly haven’t read poetry in quite a while. But this collection was amazing. So moving and thought provoking. Many timely topics presented in such unique ways. I highly recommend everyone read these poems. This one is a keeper! ( )
  andrea58 | Aug 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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