Naming Our Destiny: New and Selected Poems

June Jordan, Author Thunder's Mouth Press $24.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-938410-83-6
Jordan ( Living Room ) concludes this volume--which offers poetry written during the past 30 years, including 43 previously uncollected poems--with ``War and Memory,'' a poem aptly summarizing her life: ``I fell in love with Black men White / men Black / women White women / and I / dared myself to say The Palestinians / and I / worried about unilateral words like Lesbian or Nationalist / and I / tried to speak Spanish when I travelled to Managua.'' She attempts to shoulder too many causes here, at times losing herself in rhetoric and politics that could benefit from a fuller discussion. However, in her best work, Jordan takes an infectious delight in language, playing with words to transform experience. She makes artful use of rhyme, and draws from slave ballads and blues music to protest the everyday human tribulations that otherwise might go unnoticed. The span of the book is also instructive, as we witness the author progressing from a youthful struggle with identity to a mature feminist assertion of the rights of all people. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-938410-84-3
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