When Carnegie Mellon University Press first published The Yellow House on the Corner in 1980, then twenty-seven year old RITA DOVE immediately attracted attention as a major new voice in American poetry. Three years later she confirmed her extraordinary talent with her second collection, Museum, and in 1987 her third book, Thomas and Beulah, earned her the highest distinction in American letters, the Pulitzer Prize. Among other honors, she was also Robert Penn Warren’s choice for a Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1986, received a 1987 General Electric Foundation Award and spent 1988/89 as a Senior Mellon Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.
Table of Contents
This Life The Bird Frau Robert Schumann, Or: Musical Genius Begins with Affliction Happenstance Small Town The Snow King Sightseeing Upon Meeting Don L. Lee, In a Dream “Teach Us to Number Our Days” Nigger Song: An Odyssey
Five Elephants Geometry Champagne Night Watch The Secret Garden A Suite for Augustus 1963 D.C. Planning the Perfect Evening Augustus Observes the Sunset Wake Back
Belinda’s Petition The House Slave David Walker (1785-1830) The Abduction The Transport of Slaves From Maryland to Mississippi Pamela Someone’s Blood Cholera The Slave’s Critique of Practical Reason Kentucky, 1833
Adolescence—I Adolescence—II Adolescence—III The Boast The Kadava Kumbis Devise a Way to Marry for Love Spy First Kiss Then Came Flowers Pearls Nexus
Notes from a Tunisian Journals The Sahara Bus Trip For Kazuko Beauty and the Beast His Shirt Great Uncle Beefheart The Son Corduroy Road O
“Collected into this first book, Rita Dove’s poems announce a young poet of wide interests, deep sensibility, and justifiable confidence in her considerable powers. Coupling close attention to significant detail with a broad sense of history, the poet is able to give both concrete immediacy and philosophical resonance to her lines. Whether recounting poignant stages of adolescence or re-creating painful episodes of slave history, she speaks with a directness and a dramatic intensity that command attention. . . . [Rita Dove] fashions imaginative constructs that strike the reader as much by their ‘rightness’ as their originality. An extraordinary debut.”