I was awed, staggered and moved to tears. She woke Philippe with rumors. By viewing these poems through the lens of myth, legend, and tale, we see how Smith draws from the conventions of folk narrative in order to explore the tendency to mythologize New Orleans in the era before, during, and after the events of Hurricane Katrina. The human condition is best expressed in human faces, in human tears. The tightness of this poetic structure, the specific and symmetric base elements, operate as a type of pattern. . In a world full of tragedy, it is easy to feel removed from it, to see it as a distant echo.
Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. Blood Dazzler is a collection of poetry about New Orleans and hurricane Katrina. At the root of it was the fact that most of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina were poor and black, a fact that — in the eyes of many — made the tragedy much less important. Now think how America sees you: Gold in your molars and earlobes. After Life According to Motown, Smith published Big Towns, Big Talks which serves as a type of sequel to its predecessor, examining life after childhood in Chicago. Smith's personification of the building as an entity able to move back and forth in a consciousness of conscience brings these peculiarities of its story to the forefront. What I couldn't get over is the fact that not a single poem engenders a sense of hope.
Smith is candid in interviews about the impact this story had on her, as she imagined and interpreted this experience through the lens of events within her own family: My mother's sister died in a nursing home. There is one on Voodoo, a series of tankas. He was notoriously strong and good-natured, and generally unflappable. This reinactment of Katrina unveils multitudes with raw emotion. The use of the second person point-of-view places the reader in a liminal space of recognition. Wayne was a farmer's farmer's farmer. I thought my heart was going to give out when I read about the nursing home residents who drowned.
Hubbie 1 used to get wholly pissed when I made myself come. I don't think the things that people said to me would have been said in public if it hadn't been for those poems. Every poem is about unrelenting destruction, and there's a bitterness that is likely justified. In this case, it is fitting for Smith to begin her collection with a poem that takes the form of myth. I was awed, staggered and moved to tears. Together, these individual fragments allow for a much more sophisticated look at the event of Katrina. Blood Dazzler is the narrative of a shameful tragedy, but it is lyrical and beautiful, like a hymn we want to sing over and over until it lives in our collective memory.
Take the Luther B series. Her work has appeared in Poetry magazine, the Paris Review, the New York Times, TriQuarterly, Tin House, the Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Smith clearly writes with an agenda. She is a former fellow of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and she is the most successful poet of the National Poetry Slam competition. Beautifully composed exploration of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. Professor for the City University of New York and a Cave Canem faculty member, she lives in New Jersey with her husband, Edgar Award—winning novelist Bruce DeSilva, and her dogs Brady and Rondo. There is groundbreaking work occuring down there still, and I think Smith misses the mark because she does not include any of this.
She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. For me, that story was the one of the thirty-four St. With a subject like Katrina, it would be very easy to be emotionally manipulative with the reader, but Patricia Smith is above that kind of thing. Cannot say enough good things about this collection. I think everyone in the United States should read this book. Returning to Hurricane Katrina, which New Orleans could never forget with rightful reason, this collection is bold, visceral, and beautiful. I think I feel guilty, because I was a grown-up when it happened, and could have done more to help, and also terrible things are always happening and I need to do more to help.
However, I was hoping the collection would teach me or articulate something new about Katrina and its aftermath. In the media, the Superdome was a symbol used to critique the response efforts to Hurricane Katrina. Smith destroys the idea that tragedy happens to those who are Other, to those who are far away echoes. My favorites in the book:Won't Be but a Minute34Ms. We often take home for granted, and Smith reflects on moments during which our powerlessness is realized and accepted. The Gulf region is prone to hurricanes. Absolutely beautiful language that made me feel horribly guilty.
Perhaps, what is most staggering is the persistence of patriotism in many American citizens despite the embarrassment and anguish the Bush family has caused in the face of tragedy. It moves from rant to celebration, from satire to tragedy. Smith clearly writes with an agenda. The patterned structure of this poem is an added element to the already familiar image of the Superdome, further heightening its legendary quality. We need these stories to be told. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press.