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This book takes the readers on a journey beginning in Puerto Rico to different parts of the world, on foot. The reader does not have to actually be on foot to join different events and experiences from the perspective of the legs. However, the reader might start seeing legs everywhere, perhaps themselves having more than two legs, and/or like a cat having multiple lives.
In Puerto Rico there is the common idiom, "She is always looking for the five legs of the cat." It is said when someone is believed to try to complicate matters by overlooking and overanalyzing the situation. It assumes that this will lead to feeling overwhelmed, distressed, and to internal and external conflict. It can be said in a funny way while adding a sarcastic compliment of being creative. However, more often is meant as a critique, even a severe one. Through poetry, this book embraces the challenge of accepting some of the idiom's veracity, while leaving it up to the readers to come to their final conclusion.
The book is divided into seven parts, including the five legs of the cat. The first part is about my childhood and youth experiences as they happened. The second part stays closer to home with childhood and youth experiences while adding a more nostalgic and reflective tone. The third part starts looking closely at the legs around the world from a critical perspective. The next part is about capturing the legs literally at different positions and their implications in different situations. The fifth part can be considered Ars Poetica by showing the process of turning the legs/the feet into poetry. This is followed by a section on the legs making different arts and becoming playful. The seventh and last part is about the legs at the end of life and perhaps taking us into the next one.
The Five of Legs of the Cat goes from a more narrative and prosaic to more reflective and experimental style; from the mundane to the existential, the local to the international, the simpler to the complex experiences in life. It covers a wide variety of topics, such as, gender, religion/faith, relationships, race, the body in general, love, memory, the arts, food, health issues, death, migration, the environment, domestic violence, war, and other injustices. The book can be considered an autoethnography, a poetic ethnography or an ethnographic poetry within the context of literary anthropology and native anthropology.
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|Publisher:||Saddle Road Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)|
About the Author
Hernández Hiraldo has written articles, chapters, and book reviews on the above topics. In 2006 she published her book, Black Puerto Rican Identity and Religious Experience (University Press of Florida 2006; 2014).
In 2012 Hernández Hiraldo was awarded as a finalist on the shortlist of the National Poetry Series' Paz Prize for Poetry competition (in honor of Octavio Paz) for her poetry collection, "Entre borrosas guardarrayas" (Between Blurry Boundaries). Her poems have appeared in PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies, The Acentos Review, Azahares, Latin American Literary Review, Latino Book Review, Letralia, and The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism.
Her collection of poetry, Al Vapor (Steamed) was published in August of 2020 by Editorial Calíope in Madrid, Spain, and Cuando el líquido es sólido (When the Liquid Is Solid) in January of 2021 by Publicaciones Entre Líneas in Florida, United States.
Hernández Hiraldo also coordinates poetry events as a board member of Palaver Tree Theater, a non-profit community organization serving the Big Bend Area. She shares her poetry with many different audiences, including young students. She is a proud participant in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change and Poetas Sin Fronteras (Poets Without Borders).
Table of Contents
WHAT I GOT IN THE THIRD GRADE FOR FINISHING
MY MATH WORK EARLY AND RAISING MY HAND
THE COSTUMED MONSTER
(I SHOULD'VE KNOWN BETTER) GOD KNOWS BEST
IN OUR OWN IMAGE
WHAT CAN GET ATTACHED TO US BY DEFAULT
PRAYER IN REVERSE
THE BODY'S FOUR PARTS, ONE QUARTER/A LEG HAITIAN
AN EXTRA PAW FROM THE FIRST LEG
MORE TO DO WITH MY MOTHER
A TYPE OF CINDERELLA DRAFT
WOMEN OF INTENTIONS & MIRACLES
I'VE SEEN DEMIURGE'S DEMONS...
ONE THING WE CAN DO BETTER
WHEN STRETCHING REALLY MEANS SHRINKING
RESURRECCIONES DE PIE/RESURRECTIONS ON THE FEET...
ONE LAND'S SUFFERING
STRATEGIES OF ASSISTED LIVING
UNDER AN ENCLOSED BRIDGE BEFORE ITS GRAND OPENING
MORE OR LESS TO ADD...
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK: FINAL REPORT
WHO SAYS THE FEET CAN'T STAND THE SNOW?
DPTD IS FOR DARWIN'S POST-TRAUMATIC DREAM
WE MUST TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
BACK TO THE FUTURE
UP TO THE HEAD
THE WAYS OF THE FEET
OF LEGS & GODS (OR THE BLOODY PRAYER
WITH QUESTION MARKS)
READERS OF A KIND
THE ILLUSTRATED POEM (OR MY UNCLE ON
HIS VISIONARY DECEASED FATHER)
ALL OF US AT SOME CRISS-CROSS
WHO CARES FOR FIRST WHEN THERE'S SECOND
(A POEM: A REINCARNATION)
SUCH A NAIL
GROWN IN TRANSLATION
UP TO THE REST OF THE BODY
ON FEET AND MATHEMATICS
THE NON-HYSTERICAL GIRL WHO CRIED OTHER THAN WOLF
WHAT WE CALL WE CALL
RAIN OF FEET
TO PUSH FORWARD, TO GO BACK
THE FEET THAT BREATHE
About the Author