DE MAYOR OF HARLEM by David Henderson


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Cool Harlem-based poems, The Poetry of David Henderson, experiential montages where the landscape is on film--flat, black-and-white for the most part but dynamic. Henderson is at his best in cynical commentary: ""we bopped to give cause to the causes/ that died before they got to us."" Or as in ""Marcus Garvey Parade"": ""AS THE MARCHERS MARCH BACK TO AFRICA/ once more."" In the tribute to Langston Hughes the poet exhibits an affective lyricism which is not fully exploited in this collection, since so many of the poems, dealing as they do with the tension at the crux of black rage and frustration, rely heavily upon stabs of recognition: ""silent natives screaming/ thru western guns swords axes/ tall tenor saxophones/ blaring black trumpet/ pages of swords."" However, Henderson's controlled line and vision may offer more in the future.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1970
Publisher: Dutton