Gathering the tribes

by Carolyn Forché

Paper Book, 1976





New Haven : Yale University Press, 1976.


An examination of kinship and uprootedness, Gathering the Tribes is the first volume of poetry by Carolyn Forch� and the 71st volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets � The poems in Gathering the Tribes recount experiences from the author's adolescence and young�'adult life, closely bound to the natural cycles of the seasons, of generations, of the body's functioning. Many deal with uprootedness-hasty emigrations from Czechoslovakia and Kiev, the loss of grandparents and other elders, people leaving and being sent away. But this poetry is not a sentimental celebration of the goodness of nature and harmony with the world is never something assumed. The harmony Forch� seeks goes deeper than simple submission to natural processes or identification with an ethnic group, and it must be fought for with a tenuous faith. The balance that must be found between the ugliness, the harshness of her history-both natural and social-and its intense beauty, is what distinguishes Forch�'s poetry and gives it its depth and dimension.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member abirdman
The opening section of this book, dealing with the poet's Eastern European roots and the trials and tragedies of WWII, is among the best poetry I've ever read. Powerful, stark, homely, and ultimately redeeming.



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