A feeling of Regard, says Laura McCullough, “is an attempt to assemble the voices of residing poets and students in considerate and regarded exfoliation of the present confluence of poetry and race, the problems, the nuances, the unexamined, the dreaded, the questions, and the quarrels throughout aesthetic camps and biases.”
The individuals talk about concerns as numerous as their very own diversified racial and ethnic backgrounds. Their essays, which diversity widespread from the private and lyrical to the serious, are prepared into 4 wide groupings: Americanism, the adventure of unsilencing and crossing borders, interrogating whiteness, and language itself. To learn them is to hear in because the participants communicate what they comprehend, become aware of what they don't, and within the strategy usually locate whatever new in themselves and their subject. As a reader you're invited, says McCullough, “to be moved from one experience of regard to a different: to be provoked and to linger in that kingdom. . . . to question, quarrel, and consider.”
A feel of Regard grew out of a up to date accumulating of the organization of Writers and Writing courses (AWP), the place a poet’s reviews at the paintings of one other sparked impassioned and contentious conversations in individual, in print, and on-line. notwithstanding race is usually considered an age-old subject in poetry, McCullough observed sincerely that there's nonetheless a lot to debate, learn, and tease aside. relocating the dialog past the specificity of these preliminary AWP encounters, with their typically black/white concentrate on race, those essays offer a context and a secure foundation for a few urgently wanted discussions we too infrequently have.
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I told 18 g a rre t t hon g o them how we Japanese and Filipinos and Chinese put our cemeteries there because it was the land given to us by the growers who needed the good land, the land that was arable, for growing the sugarcane and the pineapple. But what we didn’t know, what the growers didn’t know, was that the sea would come and take our dead from us then, in the periodic raids of rips and tidal waves from a swelling ocean. The Hawaiians knew this. They took the bones of their dead to the high ground, up to the caves on the cliffs and the rock mounds on the rainy plateau above the shelves of land, between the sea and windward mountains.
Apart from some wonderful exceptions, and most of these among my fellow poets, I’d felt that, even if I were allowed a place in academe or the literary world, it would be on sufferance; no one was intrinsically interested in my obsessions, my passions. I thought of America as an establishment apart from me. But after that assembly beside the Los Angeles mountains, signing the Pee‑Chees and the napkins and the xeroxes those teenage students had of my poems, I sensed that I was beginning to belong to something, to join a throng of voices in need of their own signing.
Barbers for the Spanish Armada. ” He handed us a Styrofoam cup, the white sur‑ face of which appeared crenellated with small grooves and indentations. Walt Whitman saw me looking at the indentations. “I think it’s Arabic,” he said. “I found the cup on the floor when I was walking through Gitmo,” our host noted. ” Walt and I look at each other, not sure what to say. We offer to buy the man a drink, but he only smiles. “It’s okay,” he says. He lies down and waits for us to leave. ” (33). 34 k e n c h e n What’s American about American poetry?
A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race