My American Kundiman

Overview

From one of our most charismatic poets, a personal song to America.

This pulsating collection picks up the beat and imagery of Patrick Rosal's thrilling debut, Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive. Here, though, the poet's electric narratives and portraits extend beyond the working class streets of urban New Jersey. Modeling poems on the kundiman, a song of unrequited love sung by Filipinos for their country in times of oppression, he professes ...
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Overview

From one of our most charismatic poets, a personal song to America.

This pulsating collection picks up the beat and imagery of Patrick Rosal's thrilling debut, Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive. Here, though, the poet's electric narratives and portraits extend beyond the working class streets of urban New Jersey. Modeling poems on the kundiman, a song of unrequited love sung by Filipinos for their country in times of oppression, he professes his conflicted feelings for America, while celebrating and lamenting his various heritages—whether by chatting up St. Patrick, riffing on race relations, or channeling Lapu Lapu in a rejoinder to Magellan. Passionate, provocative, and irrepressible throughout, My American Kundiman further establishes Rosal as a poet to be reckoned with.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rosal's fiery sophomore effort begins, "When shall I/ open my mouth/ and let half/ the world/ fall in?" Fast-paced and self-assured, it reflects a melange of precedents- Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, a bevy of hip-hop artists, Filipino and Filipino-American traditions from which Rosal (Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive, 2003) takes his unusual title. A kundiman is either a song of unrequited love or a coded song of political protest, dating from the American occupation. Rosal's vividly syncretic, even sexy works find the present haunted by the recent past, the personal within the political: "If like me you don't know well the cruel music of tango, then you don't know how its truths can haunt you." Another poem invokes, for amorous praise, "Your hype/ Your hips Your spit/ Your sickest wit." Rosal's poetry of Filipino heritage often centers around New Jersey, where he lives and in whose immigrant-rich cities and towns ethnic tension and cross-fertilization are everyday facts. These oddly confident poems, with their extravagant, attention-seeking titles ("About the White Boys Who Drove By a Second Time to Throw a Bucket of Water on Me") should attract attention beyond any ethnic, regional or performance-oriented audience. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892553303
  • Publisher: Persea Books
  • Publication date: 11/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,358,572
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Rosal lives in Rahway, New Jersey, and teaches writing and literature at Bloomfield College.
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