Life According to Motown

Overview


In the 1960s, the live of black children were shaped by the glittery specter of Motown--a world of furious flash, undeniable glamour, and impossible romantic ideals. Some discovered the truth before it was too late. Others still drape their blues in the silken sounds, swirling in dimly-lit rooms in an endless, blinding slow dance.

Patricia Smith, born and raised on Chicago's West Side, grew and thrived on the bright promise of Motown. Life According to Motown, the new ...

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Overview


In the 1960s, the live of black children were shaped by the glittery specter of Motown--a world of furious flash, undeniable glamour, and impossible romantic ideals. Some discovered the truth before it was too late. Others still drape their blues in the silken sounds, swirling in dimly-lit rooms in an endless, blinding slow dance.

Patricia Smith, born and raised on Chicago's West Side, grew and thrived on the bright promise of Motown. Life According to Motown, the new collection by the five-time champion of Chicago's famous Uptown Poetry Slam, recounts in vivid imagery the lessons taught by and learned from Motown, as well as a thrilling collection of new works.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Smith's promising first collection of poems draws from her experiences growing up--``growing tall tangled in bitter root''--on Chicago's segregated West Side during the race-torn '60s. There, the music of Motown defined cultural identity and sexuality, and, Smith says, ``I was the supreme mistress of Motown, wise in the ways of love, pretending I knew why my blue jeans had begun to burn.'' Sexual imagery suffuses many of these sense-oriented poems, and her voice rises undiminished from an unknown depth. It might rise from her heart: ``I would carefully place my left hand / in the hollow at the center of my chest / and work while it rested there''; or from somewhere inside an erotically ravished yet pleasured body--``my feet are tangled with hair, my ears are gone. / My back is curving and my lips have grown numb.'' Always in Smith's poetry is a man who symbolically inspires her onrush of words. In her best poems, such as the confessional ``The Poetry Widow,'' a male muse plays the music that accompanies her song. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962428722
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1991
  • Pages: 76
  • Sales rank: 998,480
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Patricia Smith was born and raised on Chicago's West Side.
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