The Architecture of Language

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“Troupe’s poems resemble Romare Bearden’s collages: muscular and colorful.”—North American Review
 
In the Whitmanic tradition, Troupe’s poetry explodes from the page, capturing the spirit of America. Inspired by contemporary art, music, literature, and sports, The Architecture of Language dismantles the dangerously clichéd, wooden rhetoric saturating our national discourse and rebuilds the language in ...

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Overview

“Troupe’s poems resemble Romare Bearden’s collages: muscular and colorful.”—North American Review
 
In the Whitmanic tradition, Troupe’s poetry explodes from the page, capturing the spirit of America. Inspired by contemporary art, music, literature, and sports, The Architecture of Language dismantles the dangerously clichéd, wooden rhetoric saturating our national discourse and rebuilds the language in poems bursting with beauty, energy, and enough imaginative fire to light the way to the future. 
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the best poems in Troupe's latest collection following 2002's Transcircularities which is organized into seven thematic sections, this prolific author finds that "magic comes when you least expect it." A group of fervent and timely political poems, as well as a section comprising a series of lush, lyrical poems centered largely in the author's part-time residence in the French West Indies are the collection's strongest pieces. Troupe's trademark use of "eye" in place of "I" can be, at the very least, distracting, and some of the poems dedicated to famous subjects (Richard Pryor, Tiger Woods) become too expository as passion loses out to reverence. The extended title poem that closes the book is a call for "a poetry of openness in america, now," rallying the reader toward a 21st-century linguistic inclusiveness: "the american voice is not white or black, european or asian,/ middle eastern or african, but mestizo, fused with jambalaya." (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Troupe's (Miles and Me) poems reach for the moment: "newspapers whipping down cold, empty streets,/ split apart, become wings sailing like stingrays/ swimming through wash of an emerald sea." It is in these moments, these details, that he finds the words: eggplants and vichyssoise, are, for example, touchstones, and behind every word there is a story: "thunderclaps of vowels, raging rivers flooding/ conversations, carrying languages, coming & going,/ as the wind blows a mango out of a tree it speaks, too." Because Troupe is as conscious of sound as he is of meaning, the images are all the more memorable. The long title poem, ambitious and all-encompassing, is worth the price of the book, but there are also wonderful tributes to Richard Pryor, Lucille Clifton, and Tiger Woods ("we watched him loft a chip shot from the rough/ on the 16th, the ball dropped from the sky/ like an aspirin in the middle of the green"). This is the stuff of history, the everyday play of living and seeing caught before it changes and then, in an instant, changes again. Recommended for contemporary and African American poetry collections.-Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566891899
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2006
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Featured on two PBS poetry series, Troupe is the author of seven volumes of poetry including Transcircularities, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Minnesotabased Talking Volumes bookclub selection. In addition to children's books on Magic Johnson and Stevie Wonder, Troupe chronicled his friendship with Miles Davis in Miles and Me, soon to be a feature film.

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