The Humming Birds

Overview

Lucinda Roy makes a living, breathing reality of women's history. Her poems compel us into the world she envisions, whether through the eyes of a slave or the eyes of a contemporary woman remembering Africa, remembering her dead mother, remembering nights of passionate love. And in the end the poems reveal how all these worlds are inevitably connected - how the slave, Lucy, still walks down the grand staircase of the plantation mansion, and how the poet's mother is still close by, waiting to be found. The work ...
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1995 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Excellent. Brand New, Perfect Condition. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 150 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Lucinda Roy makes a living, breathing reality of women's history. Her poems compel us into the world she envisions, whether through the eyes of a slave or the eyes of a contemporary woman remembering Africa, remembering her dead mother, remembering nights of passionate love. And in the end the poems reveal how all these worlds are inevitably connected - how the slave, Lucy, still walks down the grand staircase of the plantation mansion, and how the poet's mother is still close by, waiting to be found. The work combines a seemingly effortless craft with an attention to detail that expands into unusual insights about the larger world. The poet excels at finding the uniquely personal image; even the tortoise, Albert, who was bombed during the London Blitz, becomes a potent symbol. "All I can offer now is resistance/to created myth, and sign, and metaphor," she says. Indeed, her poems, beautiful as they are, go far beyond metaphor to grapple with the very substance of life.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"What isn't water in us must be bone; /what isn't weeping must be what remains/when weeping's done." Generations of women's stories have pretty much dried the well, but what is left where tears came from is an ore of wisdom, of truth. Roy Wailing the Dead to Sleep, Bogle L'Ouverture, 1988 allows us a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a slave, or through the eyes of a contemporary woman remembering Africa, remembering her dead mother, remembering nights of passion and days of ordinary living in an extraordinary world. Whether framed by the bombed-out streets of London or the grandeur of the Virginia plantation, these poems are sparked by life and living, even in death: "You, the rose, stay fresh under the dirt/ like a cluster of white, scented stars...." Here is celebration in every aspect of life, even its ending: "When I die, whatever form I take will be close/ to song." This fine collection, which was selected by Lucille Clifton as the winner of the 1995 Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize, is highly recommended.Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780933377387
  • Publisher: The Eighth Mountain Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucinda Roy
LUCINDA ROY is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, where she has taught since 1985. Author of the novels Lady Moses and The Hotel Alleluia and two poetry collections, she is the recipient of numerous writing and teaching awards, including a statewide Outstanding Faculty Award in 2005. From 2002—2006, she served as chair of Virginia Tech’s Department of English.
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Table of Contents

Yellow Bird 3
Needlework 7
Origami 20
The Votaries 22
The Curse 24
The Curtsy 25
The Humming Birds 26
The Archangel Michael 28
Book Review 29
Suffering the Sea Change: All My Pretty Ones 31
Suffering the Sea Change: Not Venus, But Rising 32
The Man Who Played the Trumpet 33
The Virginia Reel 35
In Extremis 41
Cancer 43
Sierra Leone 45
Penultimate Rites 46
Stained Glass 47
Flying Buttresses 48
Surfacing 49
For My Son 51
Making Love 52
Sexuality 53
Talking to a Writer 54
Sustenance 55
Untitled 56
Triple Overtime 57
Divorce: The Old Sestina 58
The Ride 60
The Key 61
Iris 62
The Need for Skin 63
The Heretic 64
Caracole 67
Famine 69
The Bread Man 70
Genesis 71
The Photograph 72
What Is Dangerous Not to Remember 74
Cat's Cradle, Hopscotch, and Jumprope 75
Women in Form 77
Birth Control 81
Custodian 82
The Word Was With Gods 83
On Seeing Things 85
Gospel 86
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