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Roll Deep : Poems
by Major Jackson


Overview -

In his fourth collection, a breakthrough volume, Major Jackson appropriates the vernacular notion of "rolling deep" to capture the spirit of aesthetic travel that defines these forceful new poems and brazenly announces his steady accretion of literary and artistic influences, both formal and experimental--his "crew." The confident and radiant poems in Roll Deep address a range of topics, most prominently human intimacy and war.  Read more...


 
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More About Roll Deep by Major Jackson
 
 
 
Overview

In his fourth collection, a breakthrough volume, Major Jackson appropriates the vernacular notion of "rolling deep" to capture the spirit of aesthetic travel that defines these forceful new poems and brazenly announces his steady accretion of literary and artistic influences, both formal and experimental--his "crew." The confident and radiant poems in Roll Deep address a range of topics, most prominently human intimacy and war. And like his best work to date, these poems create new experiences with language owed to Jackson's willingness to once again seek a rhythmic sound that expresses the unique realities of the twenty-first century with humor and understanding. Whether set in Nairobi, Madrid, or Greece, the poems are sensuously evocative and unapologetically with-it, in their effort to build community across borders of language and style.

From Urban Renewal, "The Dadaab Suite" I have come to Dadaab like an acto on a press release, unprepared for the drained face of famine-fleeing refugees, my craft's glamou dimmed by hundreds of infant graves, childre whose lolling heads' final drop landed on their mothers backs like soft stones. What beauty can I spell i this swelter of dust


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393246896
  • ISBN-10: 0393246892
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: August 2015
  • Page Count: 96
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.55 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - African American

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-07-20
  • Reviewer: Staff

If Jackson (Holding Company) has a thesis in his fourth collection, it may be this line from the end of the book: “I would turn off the light/ and run my hands over my classmates’ coats/ as if playing tag with their bodies.” Throughout, Jackson plays with the concept of “rolling deep”—slang for having an entourage, living large, and carrying status. But the speakers in Jackson’s poems—alone in their crowded rooms—inhabit a world and language that is strangely hollow. They travel the world and visit amazing places (Greece, Spain, Brazil, Kenya), but are never quite comfortable. The people and places feel interchangeable and the experiences acutely similar, whether the poem’s subject is the richest of millionaires or a poverty-stricken kid who happens to be a chess master. Jackson writes in clear lines with unusual line breaks, recalling the natural speech and city rhythms of Frank O’Hara and Langston Hughes, but with an oddly flat tone. The language never reaches the lushness of the concept—a son is “as old as the stars” and a nameless partner in a bed is curled “like a snail/ in my arm’s crook.” There is a yearning for real human connection here, to literally roll deep in humanity, but it’s the emptiness of the coats that lingers. (Aug.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews