Bringing the Shovel Down is a re-imagination of the violent mythologies of state and power.
"These poems speak out of a global consciousness as well as an individual wisdom that is bright with pity, terror, and rage, and which asks the reader to realize that she is not alone--that the grief he carries is not just his own. Gay is a poet of conscience, who echoes Tomas Transtromer's 'We do not surrender. But want peace.'"
"Ross Gay is some kind of brilliant latter-day troubadour whose poetry is shaped not only by yearning but also play and scrutiny, melancholy and intensity. I might be shocked by the bold, persistent love throughout Bringing the Shovel Down if I wasn’t so wooed and transformed by it."
About the Author
Ross Gay is assistant professor of English at Indiana University and author of the poetry collection Against Which. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, Ploughshares, and Sou’wester, among other publications. Gay also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Drew University and is a Cave Canem fellow.
Table of ContentsContents Nursery Love, You Got Me Good For Some Slight I Can’t Quite Recall The Syndromes: Doubling Bringing the Shovel Down Bull Dragged from Arena American Dreaming The Syndromes: Memorial Syndrome, or Memory Glass The Lion and the Gazelle The Syndromes: Cartographer’s Syndrome Axe Blade Isaac Prayer for My Unborn Niece or Nephew Love, I’m Done with You Solidarity The Syndromes: Horologist’s Syndrome Hollywood Within Two Weeks the African American Poet Ross Gay Is Mistaken for Both the African American Poet Terrance Hayes and the African American Poet Kyle Dargan, Not One of Whom Looks Anything Like the Others Some Instructions on Black Masculinity Offered to My Black Friend by the White Woman He Briefly Dated: A Monologue The Syndromes: The Burden From My Car on Broad Street Praising the Snake Poem to My Child, If Ever You Shall Be Love, Here’s the Deal Say It The Syndromes: Mason’s Syndrome Ode to the Beekeeper Ode to the Tongue Orchid Ode to the Redbud Overheard Opera Singer The Syndromes: Undertaker’s Syndrome, or Gravedigger’s Syndrome Learning to Speak A Poem in which I Try to Express My Glee at the Music My Friend Has Given Me Because Sorrow Is Not My Name The Syndromes: Raining, or Washing Again Notes and Acknowledgments