By bell hooks
Writer, activist, feminist, instructor, and artist bell hooks is well known as one of many nation's prime intellectuals. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks drew her specific pseudonym from the identify of her grandmother, an clever and strong-willed African American lady who encouraged her to face up opposed to a dominating and repressive society. Her poetry, novels, memoirs, and children's books replicate her Appalachian upbringing and have her struggles with racially built-in faculties and unwelcome authority figures. considered one of Utne Reader's "100 Visionaries Who Can switch Your Life," hooks has gained huge acclaim from critics and readers alike. In Appalachian Elegy, bell hooks keeps her paintings as an imagist of life's harsh realities in a suite of poems encouraged via her youth within the remoted hills and hidden hollows of Kentucky. instantly meditative, confessional, and political, this poignant quantity attracts the reader deep into the adventure of residing in Appalachia. concerning such subject matters because the marginalization of its humans and the environmental degradation it has suffered through the years, hooks's poetry quietly elegizes the sluggish lack of an id whereas additionally celebrating that that's consistent, firmly rooted in a spot that's not entire.
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Additional resources for Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place
All afternoon, rain slashing the window, the sirens repeating their one sound, I made believe Goddamn you my father's slurred, anonymous curse wasn't meant for me. Page 39 A Mythic History of Alcoholism Narcissus After work every day, Daddy would stir his drinks over the sink, stare for an hour into the bathroom mirror, watching himself get drunk enough to come out for supper. Vesta at the Hearth Bacon-hiss, spatter of fat: Mama steadies her hands to hoist a half-gallon jog of vodka to her mouth, throat pulsing with gulp after gulp then she sneaks it to its hiding place behind the crock pot, smushes biscuit dough under her shaking palms.
Page 45 Philomela and Penelope, Weaving The story's never told, the tapestry where the knife's raised to the tongue unravels before it's finished, memory taking back everything it gives, its voices murmuring Everything's fine now, or self-accusing: Why did you sleep so long in the forest, a thousand and one more nights, on each a tale untold, threads fraying even as they tighten. Humpty Dumpty Isis is reassembling Osiris again: her papyrus boat poling through the marshes because the putting-back-together is never done So: map the bottle's daily changing hiding place: trashcan, fireplace, cookie jar, commode.
In the newspaper that week, a photograph of the vicinity of a black hole: like the ultrasound pictures, three swirls of black, in an X of caught dust: inescapable turning-inward, decreation of matter and light. It hides at the center of the galaxy, and nothing comes back from there. Page 22 4. Nothing which exists, says Simone Weil, is absolutely worthy of love; we must therefore love that which does not exist. Decreated ones, you who turn back from matter, from the Sound held on the horizon by the freeway and a coiled black smudge of mountain clouds, you who reveal yourselves as empty black marks on the photo strip, the dumb hum of life-machines, you, my grandfather, who shouted, stripped to your diapers, near the end, I'm in the middle of something, but I don't know what I'm in the middle of, I'll stay here, in the middle, in the fifteen-hour nights before the solstice, in the season of a sacred birth, where the apple tree bears up its three weak leaves, where you of ninety years, and you of nine weeks, vanish, and the earth goes on bearing too much that isn't you: always excess, and always this helpless wanting more wanting to witness a voice, above words, beyond sound, that would read this strip of loss, these pictures of what isn't there, Page 23 and sound for me the washed, gray gash of the harbor, the black sacs in static haze, the mudblack trench of my grandfather's grave, and fill in for a moment whatever is gone, the Sound always lost in cold, blown fog.
Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks