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Art and Politics/Politics and Art

D.H. Melhem

Publication Year: 2010

Probing, wide-ranging, brimming with passion and outrage, Melhem’s eighth collection of poems grips the reader with accounts of individual triumphs and the ongoing catastrophic conflicts of our world. The author draws on her years as a painter and sculptor to bring a distinct visual and tactile quality to her poetry. In this volume, Melhem proceeds from robust individual portraits through observable terrains to traumatic visions of war. "Certain Personae" ranges from black writers to Abraham Lincoln, from a portrait of the suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the poetry of John Updike, and finishes with paintings of Hannibal crossing the Alps. In "Mostly Political," the poems traverse the local and the universal: melting polar ice caps, capitalism, a painting by Max Ernst interpreted in antithetical ways, and a poem surveying Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the context of international events. "Wars," the third and last section, gives intimate and searing glimpses of the Trojan War, World War I, the Gulf War, the Iraq war, and the conflict over Palestine.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 4-5

Contents

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pp. 10-11

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Author’s Preface

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pp. 12-15

Growing up in Brooklyn before World War II, I would sit by the window and write poems. From the age of eight I delighted in the arts. Alternating between poetry and drawing, escaping piano practice into my own tunes, by adolescence I turned to painting, sketching, and then...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 16-18

Certain Personae

Kwansaba for Richard Wright

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pp. 22-

Kwansaba for Amiri Baraka

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pp. 23-

Kwansaba for Jayne Cortez

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pp. 24-

Song for Angela Davis in the Women’s House of Detention

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pp. 25-

Naked Woman Walks Down the Street

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pp. 26-

Chanel, Arbus, Duccio

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pp. 27-28

John Updike and My Mother

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pp. 29-

Lincoln’s Summer House

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pp. 30-

Poem for Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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pp. 31-34

Hannibal Crossing the Alps

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pp. 35-37

Mostly Political

“April is the cruellest month . . .”

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pp. 40-

Email Surveillance

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pp. 41-

Polar Icecaps

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pp. 42-

Daybreak

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pp. 43-

Capitalism

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pp. 44-46

Turtle

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pp. 47-48

Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale

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pp. 49-51

April 2004

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pp. 52-

A Chipped Tooth

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pp. 53-

New York Epic

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pp. 54-57

Wars

Those Policemen Are Sleeping

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pp. 60-62

To My Unknown Sister in Beirut

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pp. 63-64

Gulf War

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pp. 65-74

Delivering Mail in Fallujah

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pp. 75-77

Bombing Blues

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pp. 78-79

Suicide Bomber (2001, 2009)

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pp. 80-81

Just Breathing

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pp. 82-83

Some Questions for a Missile

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pp. 84-

Artillerymen in the Shower

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pp. 85-86

Hecuba to Hector

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pp. 87-

Service for the Dead

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pp. 88-

For Gaza

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pp. 89-

Variations on a Theme by Andrea Mantegna

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pp. 90-97


E-ISBN-13: 9780815651185
E-ISBN-10: 081565118X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815609766
Print-ISBN-10: 0815609760

Page Count: 80
Publication Year: 2010

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Subject Headings

  • American poetry -- 21st century.
  • American prose -- 21st century.
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