THE HEART AS EVER GREEN by Carolyn Rodgers


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In her second volume of poetry, Carolyn Rodgers demonstrates an exciting, passionate, but uneven talent. Along with Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, she is one of the few women writers capable of depicting the black experience with anger and compassion simultaneously. In ""The Gary Tyler Poems"": ""he was born when the cotton fields first/ began to bloom in mississippi & georgia/ and other hot places in south america here./ his original name is some word we have/ long since forgotten."" Her sense of timing and music is remarkable: she can stretch an idea into the exact amount of line necessary to hit the reader's, emotions dead center (""the jamaican/ woman, a gold/gourd of God &/ Africa was singsonging to her tiny/son, 'we are going to Jamaica on/an airplane, an aeroplane. . .'""). However, many of the love poems succumb to a degree of sentimentality, as in ""The Black Heart as Ever Green"": ""My heart is/ ever green, green/ like a season of emeralds/green as in tender & like buds or shoots. . . ."" Following suit, many poems written in the first person become flat exercises in political or personal rhetoric (""Move away from him,/ She said/ and I saw myself becoming/ a dim shadow/a silver, elongated acupuncture point/of pain. . .""). Even in such instances, the music of the work comes close to saving it. Rodgers is a young poet with lots of potential, and a capability for dealing with the real world.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1978
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday