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Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    an eloquently written book of poetry

    Marilyn Hacker¿s book of poetry Desesperanto is filled with poems that carry with it the theme of loss with hope. The title of this book is unique because it combines a play on the French word ¿desepoir¿ meaning to lose heart. Hacker writes poems with language strong enough to really move readers. She reflects on the life of her friends, June Jordan, in ¿Elegy for a Soldier,¿ and Muriel Rukeyser in ¿Crepuscule with Muriel¿. Hacker uses imagery that really paints a picture for her readers and puts us in a place like Harlem or even in a classroom as a frustrated teacher. She lets us into her grief and her life through her words. I think Hacker is trying to tell us to live our lives noticing the things that go on around us, to ask questions, as well as explore new things, like the French language. Hacker¿s use of French is interesting in that it adds a new dimension to poetry. I think I would have liked it more if there was a way to find out what the French words meant easily. However, when hearing the French words it really shows the poem¿s true meaning. Overall I really liked ¿Desesperanto.¿ The diction, imagery, and rhyme really made me want to write better poetry and moved me to want to write about my experiences in life, to know with desperation comes hope, which Hacker eloquently describes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    Marilyn Hacker's Desesperanto

    Marilyn Hacker is powerful woman writer with an amazing gift. Her talent is unique. Her brilliant craft really shines through in this book. Every reader can relate to the issues disscused through out the book of poems. Hacker's use of diction is admirable. My favorite poem I have to say is English 182. I never read any of Hacker's work until I read Desesperanto in my Intro to Poetry course. I recommend this book to anyone with a passion for poetry. If one is not familar with the French culture, that is a true part of Hacker, than they may have some difficulty reading this book. I found the balance of American and French culture intriguing. I learned many new things while reading her poems. This is a book you can read over and over and still gain new insights on the same material read. Hacker's wisdom of life and loss are captured in the lines of Desesperanto. Her voice accompanied with beautiful imagery which stimulates the mind.

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