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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems (2017)

af Danez Smith

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5211547,685 (4.37)46
Smith's unflinching poetry addresses race, class, sexuality, faith, social justice, mortality, and the challenges of living HIV positive at the intersection of black and queer identity. The collection opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved on earth. "Dear White America," which Smith performed at the 2014 Rustbelt Midwest Region Poetry Slam, has as strong an impact on the page as it did on the spoken word stage. Smith's courage and hope amidst the struggle for unity in America will humble and uplift you.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 15 (næste | vis alle)
Smith is brilliant, one of the few exceptions to the rule that I don't really connect with poetry. Smith's work carves me out and teaches me. This collection is about the blood of black men, those who fall to white supremacy whether through the violence it creates, validates, and perpetuates, to HIV, or to suicide and other weapons. Their work is so raw, I almost feel like a voyeur reading it, as if I am seeing something private, the most intimate grief. This is stunning.

I read the collection and then got the audio read by the author. The experience is different and I am glad I did both. ( )
  Narshkite | May 1, 2024 |
Wow. Right down to the grizzle and unabashed bare-nakedness of grief. These should be read in the sentencing hearings of the murdering life-hating class. ( )
  NeelieOB | Jan 20, 2024 |
I put off reading this for a stupid reason. I read several of these poems in earlier forms, in journals and anthologies and online and out loud. Because I'm a little obsessed with the author, I think his poems are overwhelmingly moving and true and painful and seeking and present and urgent and clear-eyed. I remember telling a friend about one and realizing I'd memorized the whole text, without effort or conscious attempt, just because I couldn't escape it.
Most of those poems are revised in this edition. Of course; most poets revise. Most poets revise unceasingly. And they discover new aspects in the revision. These revised poems are also good and meaningful and striking, and whichever version I prefer, I had nothing to fear from a new reading. And I'm stupid because there are other poems, new to me. Summer Somewhere alone had me sitting silent at the table for half an hour, trying to re-see the world.
I know most people have been turned off of poetry, from school English or bad live journals or a sense that they have to write a critical essay after reading each piece, and I never tell y'all you "have to" read the things I like, but it makes me sad that you don't get to have this experience. I recommend you read this. Just one poem. Or, hell, I'll make you a list. I'll tell you where to find the journals, or lend you the books. Call me and I'll read you something. Just keep trying until you find something so true it literally (literally!) takes your breath away. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Such a powerful, influential, and vital read. Everyone should have an opportunity to read it. ( )
  DominiqueDavis | Aug 9, 2022 |
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Smith's unflinching poetry addresses race, class, sexuality, faith, social justice, mortality, and the challenges of living HIV positive at the intersection of black and queer identity. The collection opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved on earth. "Dear White America," which Smith performed at the 2014 Rustbelt Midwest Region Poetry Slam, has as strong an impact on the page as it did on the spoken word stage. Smith's courage and hope amidst the struggle for unity in America will humble and uplift you.

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