You Don't Miss Your Water: Poems

Overview

Here are twenty-one poems yoked by thought and language to the filial bond and set in motion by the looming death of a cold and distant father. Whether physically absent or emotionally estranged, the father in these poems has always been a dominating, difficult presence in the lives of his family: the daughter run wild, the son who has disappointed, the wife he never did marry. Watching his father ebb away, the poet wonders at the man's ornery and cantankerous reality even in the face of death - and at his own ...
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Overview

Here are twenty-one poems yoked by thought and language to the filial bond and set in motion by the looming death of a cold and distant father. Whether physically absent or emotionally estranged, the father in these poems has always been a dominating, difficult presence in the lives of his family: the daughter run wild, the son who has disappointed, the wife he never did marry. Watching his father ebb away, the poet wonders at the man's ornery and cantankerous reality even in the face of death - and at his own newfound sense of power. But as well, he searches for a bond, an acknowledgment that he is his father's son.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a small book of tremendous power and grace. In 21 poems, Eady (The Gathering of My Name) illuminates experiences evoked by his father's dying, making quick, startling leaps of connection with the precisely chosen details of a born storyteller. Like a high-wire walker moving steadily along an almost invisible tension, Eady writes with simplicity and apparent ease. As he depicts his and his mother's responses to the difficult, belittling and secretive father, a convincing and moving portrait of the three emerges. Blues, rock, pop songs and hymns give these poems titles and context, linking the vernacular with the universal. ``I think that every hymn is a flare of longing, that the key to any heaven is language.'' Eady's joy in language engenders our trust in the music that his art has made of love and pain. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Eady, winner of the coveted Lamont award for his second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze Ommation Pr., 1986, is quickly emerging as one of the most skilled and sensitive African American writers. In 21 haunting prose poems, he meditates on his father's death and black American familial realities the unmarried mother, the girl in school with the same last name and comes to terms with specific childhood memories. The poems are related through image, not chronology, and the tone ranges from confessional to ironic. Emotions are similarly tumultuous and conflicting. But mobility and tension, stress and stupor give this volume its prowess. It is disconcerting to see six pages of blurbs fleshing out 33 pages of poetry, but that cannot undermine this honest and heartfelt dirge, especially when the "silly boy" who in his father's eyes never did real work explains near the end, "They're paying me to write about your life."Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805036688
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/7/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 33
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 6.99 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

CORNELIUS EADY is Associate Professor of Literature at American University. Formerly director of the Poetry Center at SUNY/Stony Brook, and visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the City College of New York, his many honors include the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Award, and fellowships from the Rockefeller, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest, and John Simon Guggenheim Foundations. The author of seven volumes of poetry, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, The Autobiographhy of a Jukebox, and Brutal Imagination, he is cofounder, with Toi Derracotte, of Cave Canem, which offers workshops and retreats to African-American poets. Eady lives with the novelist Sarah Micklem in Washington D.C.
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Table of Contents

I Know I'm Losing You 1
A Little Bit of Soap 2
One Kind Favor 3
Fetchin' Bones 4
Soothe Me 5
A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair 7
All God's Dangers 8
Motherless Children 10
Papa Was a Rolling Stone 12
I Ain't Got No Home 14
It's Only a Paper Moon 17
The Way You Do the Things You Do 19
The Chapel of Love 21
Going Down Slow 23
Travelin' Shoes 24
Money That's What I Want 25
Another Man Done Gone 26
I Just Wanna Testify 27
You Don't Miss Your Water 29
Deuce and a Quarter 31
Paradiso 32
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