Eyes with Winged Thoughts: Poems and Photographs

Eyes with Winged Thoughts: Poems and Photographs

by Gordon Parks
     
 

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In Eyes with Winged Thoughts, the forty-four photographs and fifty-eight poems, reflecting on his long and extraordinary life, offer a rare glimpse of his thoughts and feelings about everything from romantic love to the Iraq war and the passing of Pope John Paul II.
He has done it all. Gordon Parks's life is an astonishing litany of firsts: in the 1940s heSee more details below

Overview

In Eyes with Winged Thoughts, the forty-four photographs and fifty-eight poems, reflecting on his long and extraordinary life, offer a rare glimpse of his thoughts and feelings about everything from romantic love to the Iraq war and the passing of Pope John Paul II.
He has done it all. Gordon Parks's life is an astonishing litany of firsts: in the 1940s he was the first African-American photographer to work for the Farm Security Administration and for Vogue and Life magazines; in the 1960s he would become the first African-American director of a major motion picture. A dominating figure in contemporary American culture, he is an artist of uncompromising vision and creativity.
In 2002 Parks received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame, just the latest in a series of honors that began when he received a prestigious Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1941 and which now includes an Emmy, a National Medal of the Arts, and over fifty honorary doctorates. Now in his nineties, he could easily rest on his laurels, but the luminous photographs on display in Eyes with Winged Thoughts and the poems -- some meditative and lyrical, some raw with emotion about the war in Iraq and the tragedy of the tsunami -- show that he is still a true American Renaissance man.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With more than 60 years behind the lens, including a stint as a New Deal documentarian and more than two decades at Life magazine, Parks is by acclamation the nation's most important African-American photographer. Film fans know him as the man who directed Shaft, along with several other feature films and well-regarded documentaries, many of them focused on black urban life. Meant to accompany A Hungry Heart, his fourth prose memoir (also a November book), this collection of Parks's straightforward, sincere verse plays up its links with his pictures, almost 50 of which adorn the book, from abstract photos of crystals and sunsets to closeups of soldiers and candids of people in need. The verse itself consists of clear and sometimes moving meditations on Parks's upbringing ("Momma's words refuse to die./ Instead they grow wings and soar"), on American history and on current events ("Forty killed in Basra today! Small children blown apart!") along with pithy advice from a now 90-year-old working artist: "Keep acting and thinking upward." (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416588573
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
11/01/2007
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt


Come Sing With Me!

Despite the turmoil, anguish and despair

disrupting the planet we inherited,

there is something good I choose to sing about.

That something lies within us, patiently waiting --

beneath us, above us and around us.

Its peaceful message yearns to fill

our places of murderous anger and hatred,

to flourish forever.

Hope is the song I have chosen to sing --

a deathless song, flowing steadily beside my faith.

Whenever the fist of doubt knocks at my door,

it is powerfully turned away by my hopeful singing.

When things go from bad to worse I still sing my song.

Why not?

It helps me endure the bloodthirsty days.

Once earth's fire had devoured my hopes.

As my twisted soul slid toward Hell,

Fate came racing from another direction.

Pinned to it was a belt of sun with new instructions.

These, it said, are for you! Suddenly Fear was gone.

I made peace with the mean roads I'd walked.

My jackals could now lie down in truce.

From that day on, I began singing the song called Hope.

I still sing it loud --

above the waves, fire, darkness and mud.

Copyright © 2005 by Gordon Parks

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