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The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992
     

The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992

by Audre Lorde
 

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“This volume resonates with some of the finest poems Audre Lorde ever wrote: sinewy, lyrical, celebratory even in the face of death, and always political in the best sense. Now the poet is gone—but the work lives, and sings.” —Robin Morgan
This collection, 39 poems written between 1987 and 1992, is the final volume by "a major American

Overview

“This volume resonates with some of the finest poems Audre Lorde ever wrote: sinewy, lyrical, celebratory even in the face of death, and always political in the best sense. Now the poet is gone—but the work lives, and sings.” —Robin Morgan
This collection, 39 poems written between 1987 and 1992, is the final volume by "a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives,” in the words of Adrienne Rich. Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was the author of ten volumes of poetry and five works of prose. She was named New York State Poet in 1991; her other honors include the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lorde's ( A Burst of Light ) poems have always melded the political and lyrical worlds, the ordinary and the luminous, addressing controversial topics that she struggled with as a black lesbian poet, and the work in The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance is no exception. These poems are reminders of her characteristic themes, from ecstatic poems of love and self-discovery to others grappling with cancer and the fear of death. The work here enhances Lorde's tradition of clipped, sparse lines that turn unexpectedly from one subject to another, and of arresting and often unabashedly political imagery. Some of the poetry about death is haunting, as in the last stanza of ``Speechless:'' ``Death / folds the corners of my mouth / into a heart-shaped star / sits on my tongue like a stone / around which your name blossoms / distorted.'' Or in ``Restoration: A Memorial--9/18/91,'' a poem describing the aftermath of hurricane Hugo, which devastated the house Lorde lived in, but was written from another continent, where she was undergoing chemotherapy: ``In this alien and temporary haven / my poisoned fingers / slowly return to normal / I read your letter dreaming / the perspective of a bluefish / or a fugitive parrot.'' (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393311709
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/17/1994
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) published nine volumes of poetry and five works of prose. She was a recipient of many distinguished honors and awards, including honorary doctorates from Hunter, Oberlin, and Haverford Colleges, and was named New York State Poet (1991-1993).

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