By Reginald Shepherd
"Orpheus within the Bronx not just extols the liberty language provides us; it embodies that freedom, enacting poetry's maximum gift---the energy to acknowledge ourselves as anything except what we're. those bracing arguments have been written through a poet who sings."
A hugely acute author, pupil, editor, and critic, Reginald Shepherd brings to his paintings the sensibilities of a classicist and a modern theorist, an heir of the yank excessive modernist canon, and a poet drawing and enjoying on pop culture, whereas concurrently venturing into formal experimentation.
In the essays gathered right here, Shepherd bargains probing meditations unified by way of a "resolute safeguard of poetry's autonomy, and a party of the liberatory and utopian chances such autonomy offers." one of the items incorporated are an eloquent autobiographical essay starting up within the frankest phrases the vicissitudes of a Bronx ghetto formative years; the break out provided through books and "gifted" prestige preserved via maternal choice; early loss and the identical of exile; and the formation of the writer's vocation. With an analogous frankness that he brings to autobiography, Shepherd additionally units out his purposes for rejecting "identity politics" in poetry as an pointless trammeling of literary mind's eye. His research of the "urban pastoral," from Baudelaire via Eliot, Crane, and Gwendolyn Brooks, to Shepherd's personal paintings, offers a clean view of where of city panorama in American poetry.
Throughout his essays---as in his poetry---Shepherd juxtaposes unabashed lyricism, ancient understanding, and in-your-face contemporaneity, bristling with intelligence.
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