Dear Darkness: poems

by Kevin Young

Hardcover, 2008





New York : Knopf, 2008.


Las Vegas, Nashville, the Midwest, his family's Louisiana home, the state of despair: these are the places that Kevin Young visits in this, his powerful sixth book of poetry. Facing the sudden loss of his father, Young pays homage to his significant clan: to aunties and double cousins, and a great-grandfather's grave in a segregated cemetery. At the book's heart is a series of highly original food odes, poems that grow out of hunger and pain and find a way to satisfy both. Whether in Ode to Pork (I know you're the blues / because loving you / may kill me) or in addresses to collard greens, catfish, and kitchen grease, Young counts his losses and our blessings, knowing inside / anything can sing. And Young is still singing the blues, though now with a touch of country and western, burnished by loss and a hard-won maturity, delivering poems that speak to our cultural losses, even as he buries his own, sadder than / a wedding dress / in a thrift store. What we love will leave us or is it we leave what we love, Today, belly full enough to walk the block after all week too cold outside to smile-- from I shall be released… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member plenilune
Exploring grief through blues and humor, Young has created a poetic manifesto for anyone who has experienced loss-- and who among us hasn't? He has a gift for the rhythms of language, and his poetry exemplifies the power of succinctness.


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