Sunday, March 30, 2014

Major Jackson

Today I want to look at Major Jackson's poem "Urban Renewal" [here]. His own website is here, and two other great poems of his are here.

His slow, meandering walk through what reminded me of a tour I walked out alone in Rome is incredible. For a second I thought these were just my thoughts, if I were a descendent of Coleridge. Jackson's work is incredible. I mean, the sense of place comes across incredibly, no matter where you're relating it to in your head. I loved this section:
Never get used to the morning slow prayers of palm
leaves, the feisty light caressing the cubed
halls on the hills [...]

He has great language and a wonderful amount of ambiguity, for example I loved these lines:
[...] what you grieve is not
the sublime change of seasons, but the minor
hurts you caused in loving too many women.

And the end is excellent too. He's got such a hint of Shakespeare on the edges of his Byronic heart--it seems intense yet delicate and refined at the same time. And part 'xxv. Salobreña' of "Urban Renewal" is really good, it's such a blend of love, and dormant power and Hemingway, especially these lines:

[...]  Her dress spills across the restaurant's floor
like a red shadow, darker than billboards of black bulls
[...] All seeing is an act of war.

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