American Smooth: Poems
Rita DoveISBN: 0393059871; 9780393059878;
Book Description Occasion to celebrate: a new collection by the Pulitzer Prize-winning former poet laureate?her first in five years. Rita Dove's magnificent poems pay homage to our kaleidoscopic cultural heritage?from the glorious shimmer of an operatic soprano to Bessie Smith's mournful wail, from paradise lost to angel-food cake, from hotshots at the local shooting range to the Negro jazz band in World War I whose music conquered Europe before the Allied advance. Like the ballroom-dancing couple of the title poem, smiling and making the difficult seem effortless, Dove explores the shifting surfaces between perception and intimation. Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar, makes her way through crowds to receive the award. A girl in Harlem studies the flirtations of the adult world, so that someday she too can "pop right out." Fred Astaire once proclaimed, "I just put my feet in the air and move them around." Like Astaire, Dove, speaking...