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Muscular Music
     

Muscular Music

by Terrance Hayes
 
The poems in Terrance Hayes's book, Muscular Music, are atypical of most writers' first books of poetry. One cannot categorize these poems simply as confessional, narrative, or lyrical. They are all these things at once. They move beyond usual explorations of childhood or family to blend themes and influences that range from Neruda to Coltrane, Fat Albert to Orpheus,

Overview

The poems in Terrance Hayes's book, Muscular Music, are atypical of most writers' first books of poetry. One cannot categorize these poems simply as confessional, narrative, or lyrical. They are all these things at once. They move beyond usual explorations of childhood or family to blend themes and influences that range from Neruda to Coltrane, Fat Albert to Orpheus, John Shaft to Gershwin. This book gives us an almost Whitmanesque account of an America, and an African American, replete with grace and imperfection. Moreover, it gives us a voice that does not sacrifice truth for music or music for accessibility. At the end of a poem that includes Bill Strayhorn, Andrew Carnegie, and Dante, Hayes says, "I know one of the rings of hell is reserved for men who refuse to weep. So I let it come. And it does not move from me." These lines reflect what is always at the core of Hayes's poetry: a faithfulness, not to traditional forms or themes, but to heart and honesty. It is a core bounded by and cradled by a passion for the music in all things.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781882688210
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
05/28/1999
Edition description:
1
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.91(h) x 0.22(d)

What People are Saying About This

Cornelius Eady
"Terrance Hayes is one elegant poet. First you’ll marvel at his skill, his near-perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you’ll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth-telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world."

Meet the Author

TERRANCE HAYES is the recent recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Hayes currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his family, and is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

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