Collected Poems (Centenary Edition)

Overview

An exquisite body of work celebrating the centennial of one of the most important African-American poets of the twentieth century.
Robert Hayden was one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. He left behind an exquisite body of work, collected in this definitive edition, including A Ballad of Remembrance, Words in the Mourning Time, The Night-Blooming Cereus, Angle of Ascent, and American Journal, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Also ...

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Collected Poems (Centenary Edition)

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Overview

An exquisite body of work celebrating the centennial of one of the most important African-American poets of the twentieth century.
Robert Hayden was one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. He left behind an exquisite body of work, collected in this definitive edition, including A Ballad of Remembrance, Words in the Mourning Time, The Night-Blooming Cereus, Angle of Ascent, and American Journal, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Also included is an introduction by American poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, as well as an afterword by Arnold Rampersad that provides a critical and historical context. In Hayden’s work the actualities of history and culture became the launching places for flights of imagination and intelligence. His voice—characterized by musical diction and an exquisite feeling for the formality of pattern—is a seminal one in American life and literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“This luminescent volume reaffirms the beauty and power of his poetry… An enlightening and exciting reclamation of an essential American poet of suffering and radiance.”
New York Times Book Review
“When I read his poetry I know that I am in the presence of a man who honors language. His images give the reader a new experience of the world.”— Julius Lester
New York Times Book Review - Julius Lester
“When I read his poetry I know that I am in the presence of a man who honors language. His images give the reader a new experience of the world.”
Michael S. Harper
“Hayden was a remembrancer, a poet of faith and superb execution, and one of the best teachers by example one can find in the poetry of the twentieth century, or in any age. His words enhance and engage us as awakened selves, a nation in process, an abiding transcendent world voice.”
Julius Lester - New York Times Book Review
“When I read his poetry I know that I am in the presence of a man who honors language. His images give the reader a new experience of the world.”
Camila Domonoske - NPR.org
“Hayden's work looks back toward a rich, sympathetically rendered land of abandoned gods, dead beloveds and suffering ancestors… His poems reach us like those echoes, with a sense of immediacy that translates across the years, as if the dead have just walked by.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871406798
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 492,916
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hayden received numerous awards including a Hopwood Award, the Grand Prize for Poetry at the First World Festival of Negro Arts, and the Russell Loines Award for distinguished poetic achievement from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Frederick Glaysher studied writing under a private tutorial with Robert Hayden at the University of Michigan, from which he holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, the latter in English. The author and editor of several works, he edited Hayden’s Collected Prose as well as the Collected Poems. Robert Hayden is a character in Glaysher’s recently published epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, partly set on the moon, at the landing site of Apollo 11.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a husband and father of two sons. As a poet, essayist and national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, Betts writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society. In 2011 Betts was awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship to Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. The author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom (Avery/Penguin 2009) and the collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010), Betts’ work possesses a careful, complicated and often difficult-to-confront intimacy that challenges conventional ideas about crime, masculinity and redemption. In 2010 he was awarded an NAACP Image Award for A Question of Freedom, and a Soros Justice Fellowship to complete The Circumference of a Prison, a work of nonfiction exploring the criminal justice system's role in the every day lives of Americans who have not committed crimes.

Arnold Rampersad (Ph.D. Harvard) is the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Stanford University. He is co-editor (with Deborah E. McDowell) of Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and editor of the definitive Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. He is the author of the two-volume biography The Life of Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson: A Biography, and co-author (with Arthur Ashe) of Days of Grace: A Memoir. He is also editor of “The Harlem Renaissance.”

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Table of Contents

The Diver 3
Electrical Storm 5
Full Moon 7
Dawnbreaker 8
The Rabbi 9
Belsen, Day of Liberation 10
Approximations 11
Snow 12
The Ballad of Sue Ellen Westerfield 13
Night, Death, Mississippi 15
"An Inference of Mexico" 17
Day of the Dead 17
Mountains 18
Veracruz 19
Idol 21
Sub Specie Aeternitatis 22
Market 23
Kid 25
La Corrida 26
A Ballad of Remembrance 27
Tour 5 29
Gulls 30
A Road in Kentucky 31
Homage to the Empress of the Blues 32
"The Burly Fading One" 33
"Incense of the Lucky Virgin" 34
Witch Doctor 35
Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday 38
"Summertime and the Living..." 39
The Whipping 40
Those Winter Sundays 41
The Web 42
The Wheel 43
Perseus 44
Theme and Variation 45
"From the Corpse Woodpiles, from the Ashes" 46
Baha'u'llah in the Garden of Ridwan 47
Middle Passage 48
O Dacdalus, Fly Away Home 55
The Ballad of Nat Turner 56
Runagate Runagate 59
Frederick Douglass 62
Sphinx 65
The Dream 66
"'Mystery Boy' Looks for Kin in Nashville" 68
The Broken Dark 69
The Mirages 70
Soledad 71
Aunt Jemima of the Ocean Waves 72
Locus 76
On Lookout Mountain 77
Kodachromes of the Island 78
Zeus over Redeye 81
Unidentified Flying Object 83
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz 86
Words in the Mourning Time 90
Monet's "Waterlilies" 101
The Lions 102
October 103
The Return 107
"Lear is Gay" 108
A Plague of Starlings 109
Richard Hunt's "Arachne" 113
The Night-Blooming Cereus 114
The Performers 117
The Peacock Room 118
Smelt Fishing 120
"Dance the Orange" 121
Traveling through Fog 122
Beginnings 125
Free Fantasia: Tiger Flowers 130
For a Young Artist 132
Stars 134
Two Egyptian Portrait Masks 139
Nefert-iti 139
Akhenaten 140
Butterfly Piece 141
The Moose Wallow 142
Crispus Attucks 143
A Letter from Phillis Wheatley 147
John Brown 149
Theory of Evil 154
Paul Laurence Dunbar 156
Homage to Paul Robeson 157
The Rag Man 158
The Prisoners 159
The Tattooed Man 160
Elegies for Paradise Valley 163
Names 171
Double Feature 172
The Dogwood Trees 173
Letter 174
Ice Storm 175
"As My Blood Was Drawn" 176
Killing the Calves 178
The Year of the Child 179
The Point 181
Zinnias 182
The Islands 183
Bone-Flower Elegy
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