Alice Walker is beloved for her ability to speak her own truth in ways that speak for and about countless others. Here she confronts personal and collective challenges in words that dance, sing, and heal. As Shiloh McCloud describes in her foreword, Walker's poems contain “the death of loved ones and the birth of new ideas, the sorrow of rejection and the deliciousness of love, the sweetness of home, familial abandonment, and what it means to belong to the greater world family.”
As Walker writes in her preface, the “empty” half of a glass holds “a rainbow that could exist only in the vacant space.” Musing on the role of dance, which gives this collection its title, she writes, “though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.”read more
Walker is of course well known as the author of the novel The Color Purple as well as other works of prose, but she has also published books of poetry throughout her career. Her poetic goals are more inspirational than literary. Poetry is, for her, a place to "share losses, health concerns, and other challenges common to the human condition," as she says in her preface; it is also a place to help heal those wounds. In narrow free verse, often with a single word on a line, Walker asks pertinent questions, such as, in "Watching You Hold Your Hatred," "Isn't it/ slippery?/ might you/ not/ someday/ drop it/ on/ yourself?" She also merges the personal and the political ("You'd be surprised/ to find/ how cleansing/ it feels/ to depose/ a/ dictator:/ There she is/ anticipating your/ every wish"); addresses a "Woman/ of color/ lighting up/ the/ dark"; and describes how love "is embedded in us,/ like seams of gold in the Earth." Walker's many fans won't be disappointed by this book. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.