Myself Painting: Poems

Myself Painting: Poems

by Clarence Major

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LSU Press

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

In his 12th collection, Major delves into his life as a painter to compose poems about art. But that is not the only subject covered here-Major also examines our feelings about race and love, counterpointed by lighter subjects such as cell phones and keys. The strongest poem, "Black or White," appears to be a true story about a girl's discovery of her identity: "She was eighteen and white/when she found out about her black relatives." In everyday language, Major questions how and why we classify people racially; he also delves into the mysteries of family. The art poems are where Major's love of color and texture becomes apparent: "Hush of underbrush/where ducks suddenly shoot up" and "Yellow oil shimmers/on ocean's hypnotic surface." One drawback of many of these poems are the endings. Some conclude with a cliché, as in "The Rifle": "For her that was the beginning of the end." Or they just sputter to a conclusion, as in "Morningside": "I go into the kitchen/and start the coffee." Recommended for larger collections.
—Doris Lynch

Product Details

Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Prizewinning poet, painter, and novelist Clarence Major is the author of ten books of poetry, including Configurations: New and Selected Poems, 1958—1998, a National Book Award Bronze Medal finalist. He is also author of critically acclaimed nonfiction and fiction and is editor of several landmark anthologies. Winner of the National Council on the Arts Award and the New York Cultural Foundation Prize, both for poetry, he is professor emeritus at the University of California at Davis.

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