Homecoming: New and Collected Poems

Overview

Long before her award winning novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez was writing poetry that gave a distinctive voice to the Latina woman-and helped give to American letters a vibrant new literary form. Homecoming, was Alvarez's first published collection of poetry, a work of great subtlety and power in which the young poet returned to her old-world childhood in the Dominican Republic. Now this revised and expanded edition adds thirteen new poems. These ...

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Overview

Long before her award winning novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez was writing poetry that gave a distinctive voice to the Latina woman-and helped give to American letters a vibrant new literary form. Homecoming, was Alvarez's first published collection of poetry, a work of great subtlety and power in which the young poet returned to her old-world childhood in the Dominican Republic. Now this revised and expanded edition adds thirteen new poems. These more recent writings are still deeply autobiographical in nature, but written with the edgier, more knowing tone of a woman who has seen, and survived, more of life. Wonderfully lucid and engaging, toned with deep emotionality and a wry observation of life, the poems of Julia Alvarez stand next to her fiction to both delight us and give us lessons in living and loving.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alvarez, author of the novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies, adds to her 1984 collection of the same name. Limning her youthful experiences as a Dominican-American, the thoughtful, accessible poems in the section called Housekeeping draw upon childhood memories; in the new "Folding My Clothes," she watches her mother "fold/ the arms in and fold again where my back/ should go until she had made a small/ tight square of my chest." Also new is the sequence of Redwing Sonnets, occupied with voice, authenticity and language. Thirteen new sonnets are added to the original number in the section called 33 to match Alvarez's current age. The early poems focus on failed relationships and the search for love "Are we all ill with acute loneliness,/ chronic patients trying to recover/ the will to love?". The new works look more outward, a fitting shift, the author notes in an afterword, for a poet who "still yearns to make the world better with her pen." Apr.
Library Journal
Alvarez is best known for her acclaimed novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (LJ 8/94) and In the Time of Butterflies (LJ 5/1/91). This vivid and engaging collection proves her to be a talented poet as well. The best poems in the book are found in the series entitled "Housekeeping," where the daily activities of cleaning, washing, and ironing are transformed into metaphors for the female experience: domesticity as both nourishing and stifling. There is also an engaging series of 46 sonnets, an autobiography in verse that wryly explores the ups and downs in family, relationships, and writing. Alvarez describes herself as a "woman working at home on her art/ housekeeping paper as if it were her heart." Recommended for most collections.-Christine Stenstrom, Brooklyn P. L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452275676
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: Revised & Expanded Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 999,036
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Homecoming Homecoming

Housekeeping
How I Learned to Sweep Dusting Household Riddle Making Our Beds The Master Bed Washing the Windows Storm Windows Hairwashing Hanging the Wash Folding My Clothes Ironing Their Clothes Rolling Dough What Could It Be?
Posture Lesson New Clothes Naming the Fabrics Orchids Charges Mother Love Woman's Work

Heroines
Heroines Woman Friend Wallpaper Against Cinderella Old Heroines

33

Redwing Sonnets

Last Night at Tía's

Afterword: Coming Home to Homecoming

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