I recently bought a book yesterday called “From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002” edited by Ismael Reed. I just did some quick read through the introduction, parts of in on a moving train and a few hours ago in my room, and think this is cool.
This anthology of poems collected by Reed promises to be diverse. By diversity meaning, different ethnics, beliefs, political affiliations and etc. There is also hip-hop in the mix. Well I haven’t gotten that far but managed to read a poem by Marry Tallmountains called “O Dark Sister,” and another one titled “A Lost Memory of Delhi.”
Poems in the book are placed under headings; Nature and Place (like the two above); Men and Women; Family; Politics, Heroes and Sheroes, Anti and Otherwise; and lastly Manifestos. I guess this is gonna be a treat. I initially saw another book on the theme of finding hope amid darkness/ survival, themes which would definitely interest me but I wanted something wider and diverse. So, as someone who doesn’t have a plant or tree which bear the green stuff called money, I had to make choices rather than just buy the whole stack of books under the poetry section!
There were of course other anthologies but they would contribute to me finding another way back other than using the train. That would take forever to make it home so again I had to choose. Not that I’m saying I made the right choice but variety, affordability and something like an introductory level book, was what defined what I would choose.
I guess I’m gonna read this book slowly because one can’t read poems like one read textbooks. Or you don’t ride a horse like you drive a car (I never rode a horse in my life but i’m pretty sure the way one rides them is not the same).
I guess i’m trying to immerse myself in the art of poetry, something I find exhilarating. At times I find the experience in writing, moments where I hit a brick wall or walls depending on how it affects me. But it’s a good time for exploration and trying to think up new ideas. I try to be diverse but lets see how that goes.
I’m not really planning on writing a review of this anthology but if there is something to post about I might write something up. So just thinking through the first two poems, the one about the whale might be trying to talk about the whales being extinct (i guess) and the one on Delhi, i’m still not sure. I still might be wrong about the first one but i love trying to figure out what these people are really writing about. The thing about dissecting ideas and interpreting them is something I love to do, which I think i try to incorporate in some of my poems.
Anyway, here’s to reading on a Friday night, thinking about writing ideas and drinking gallons of coffee.