Rita Dove s Collected Poems 1974 2004 showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Medal of Art. Gathering thirty years and seven books, this volume compiles Dove s fresh reflections on adolescence in The Yellow House on the Corner and her irreverent musings in Museum .Read more...
Rita Dove s Collected Poems 1974 2004 showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Medal of Art. Gathering thirty years and seven books, this volume compiles Dove s fresh reflections on adolescence in The Yellow House on the Corner and her irreverent musings in Museum. She sets the moving love story of Thomas and Beulah against the backdrop of war, industrialization, and the civil right struggles. The multifaceted gems of Grace Notes, the exquisite reinvention of Greek myth in the sonnets of Mother Love, the troubling rapids of recent history in On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and the homage to America s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage in American Smooth all celebrate Dove s mastery of narrative context with lyrical finesse. With the precise, singing lines for which the Washington Post praised her, Dove has created fresh configurations of the traditional and the experimental (Poetry magazine)."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-16
- Reviewer: Staff
This substantive and enriching decades-spanning volume charts the work of Dove (Sonata Mulattica)—a Pulitzer Prize recipient, former U.S. poet laureate, and Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal recipient—as she forged her legacy from a sharp, unflinching eye that skillfully turned history into collective memory. Dove’s virtuosity keeps her poems from feeling trite or recycled. Poems such as “Hattie McDaniel Arrives at the Coconut Grove” take a historical event and treat it with tenderness, using the second person to heighten the intimacy between reader and subject: “dear Mammy we can’t help but hug you crawl into/ your generous lap.” Whether experimental or lyrical, Dove’s poems work as hypnotizing incantations. She slips into the fantastical dramatics of myth in poems from 1995’s Mother Love, which uses the Greek tale of Persephone and Hades as foundation for a modernized tragedy of toxic lust and the limits of a mother’s love. Instead of a Greek maiden falling prey to a scheming god of the underworld, Dove’s Persephone is a naive black girl seduced by the promise of Paris and a Frenchman who “was good/ with words, words that went straight to the liver.” Through her alluring language, Dove has long made the exceedingly difficult seem effortless; each poem here is a testament to her brilliance. (May)