Bright Existence by Brenda Hillman

By Brenda Hillman

The poems in Brenda Hillman's new assortment, a significant other quantity to her contemporary dying Tratates, provide a dynamic imaginative and prescient of a universe based at the tensions among mild and darkish, life and non-existence, female and male, spirit and topic. proficient partially through Gnostic strategies of the separate soul looking for its divine origins ("spirit held by way of matter"). This dualistic imaginative and prescient is forged in modern phrases and seeks answer of those tensions via reputation.

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83–84) P o e t r y f o r S t u d e n t s , V o l u m e 3 2 A p p l e P i c k i n g ‘‘The language is appropriate to the virtues I celebrate’’: this unqualified assertion stands definite and tall amidst Frost’s more calculated postures (‘‘I trust . . I think . . At least I am sure’’) and underlines the importance which he attached to the human substance of these poems. We see much the same emphasis in Frost’s note to F. S. ] . . ] . . The John Kline who lost his housekeeper and went down like a felled ox was just the person I have described and I never knew a man I liked better.

He became a librarian at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked until 1965, expanding the school’s collection of African American literature and collaborating on several anthologies of black literature. He died of a heart attack in Nashville on June 4, 1973, while working on his autobiography. POEM TEXT I have sown beside all waters in my day. I planted deep, within my heart the fear That wind or fowl would take the grain away. I planted safe against this stark, lean year. I scattered seed enough to plant the land In rows from Canada to Mexico P o e t r y f o r S t u d e n t s , V o l u m e 5 3 2 A B l a c k M a n T a l k s o f R e a p i n g But for my reaping only what the hand Can hold at once is all that I can show.

However, there is a telling difference: Paul seems to be implying a more direct relationship between behaviors and consequences than Bontemps offers. While in ‘‘A Black Man Talks of Reaping’’ Bontemps warns readers that a particular behavior will bring specific results, he also adds an extra step, shrouded in mystery. ’’ yielded no observable consequences for white society at the time of Bontemps’s writing, but the poem clearly indicates that consequences will be inevitable. Bontemps shows the pressure building for equality, and he also mentions the natural relationship between reaping and sowing, making it clear that black Americans were forbidden participation in the actual reaping of benefits of their work.

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