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Book Title: Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems|
The author of the book: Alice Walker
Date of issue: September 15th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781577319313
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 340 KB
Edition: New World Library
Read full description of the books Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems:It would be tragic enough if "Hard Times Require Furious Dancing" only had the problems that have plagued so much of Alice Walker's work after The Color Purple ( save Possessing The Secret Of Joy, her last classic) For those who grew up in the 80's/90's reading Walker's, it has been hard not to personalize her story, and harder to comment on her decline given her status as the most publicly abused writer in the history of African American literature. As someone who fought segregation in Jackson, Mississippi and patriarchy in the vocal mob of black men obsessed over the Color Purple, Walker bore too much for 100 people, much less one person. It isn’t that big of a stretch to understand why she would wrap herself of a cocoon of new age pieties that sometimes congeal to form novels and poems. Damage, lurking beneath the faux mythological niceties of Temple Of My Familiar, pouring through the family dynamic in the story she forces on By The Light Of My Father’s Smile, and coming from everywhere in the tragically unreadable rainforest monologue that is Absolute Trust In The Goodness Of The Earth, is something the reader has to contextualize in her work( especially if that reader is man.)
One can almost finish the task in “Dancing”, even though there is nary a constructed idea or image to be found in them; just the same oracular statements in one word, two syllable line breaks that have been a trademark of her poetry for the last 20 years. What makes the job impossible, however, is “lost”, her response to her daughter Rebecca’s books about her . In “Black/White/Other” Walker is portrayed as a haunting stereotype, a sixties liberal who got involved with a white man, had a child, and discarded almost any parental responsibility when she discarded the interracial relationship. Worse, in “Baby Love” she is portrayed as monstrous, disowning her daughter when she decides to have a child, and refusing to be there when that child is sick. It got to the point where those who had read Walker’s books were in denial. Surely, this cant be the case! Surely there is some other story were not hearing! Surely, Alice Walker has her side of the story to tell.
“Lost” makes you wish you never asked the question. To the charges her daughter offers, Walker all but tells her: So what? “My daughter is lost to me, but I am not lost” is her response, and to her charge of “happiness is having a loving mother” she says “love for those who have been tethered” who have “known the lash” and have carried the weight of history. The poem is a simulacrum of a conversation Rebecca says Alice had with her in “baby love” where she tells her that because of her mixed race heritage, she doesn’t know suffering. Brutal in the guise of zen, cruel beneath the mask of speaking truth to history, “Lost” is a heartbreaking reversal for Walker, where she embodies the hateful nationalists she critiqued in such classic works as Third Life Of Grange Copeland , Meridan, and In Search Of Our Mother’s Gardens. Simply put, it is the point where the abused becomes the abuser.
I write this queasy about every sentence, every word, and every letter. Given the level of dissonant garbage written by men on feminism( Even (especially?) by men who proclaim to be feminists) there is a part of me that feels wary of wading into the interpersonal struggle between the divergent theories of second and third wave feminism; struggles that the Walker mother/daughter battles have come to symbolize in recent years. I havent fought one of the countless battles that both women fought in order to survive and define who they are, so I don’t have a right to presume I have any definitive opinion on the subjects addressed in their conflict.
All I have in this discussion is memories. Of watching The Color Purple three times in a day, then wanting to read the book at 8 years old; going to the dictionary with words I didn’t know then asking my grandmother about her own story. Of reading Grange Copeland on the city bus to school and seeing him in the tragic, complicated, self-destructive old addicts who both threw and had their lives thrown away at the same time. Of reading Revolutionary Petunias and Good Night Willie lee, I’ll See You In The Morning over and over again to study her use of imagery. Of the craftsmanship and humanity the essays of Mothers Gardens, and how they rewired my brain at the age of 25. And now of the black watermarks of my gray sweater, for I have never cried over writing an essay as much as I have cried over writing this one. I don’t know if I ever will again.
Read information about the authorAlice Walker, one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.
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