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Breaking the Jaws of Silence

Sixty American Poets Speak to the World

Sholeh Wolpé

Publication Year: 2013

Through the support of PEN Center USA, Iranian American poet and translator Sholeh Wolpé has brought together sixty American poets to address the world through poems that not only meditate on the principles of freedom, justice, and tolerance but also boldly and directly address specific countries. Natasha Trethewey, Robert Bly, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Carolyn Forché, Billy Collins, Jorie Graham, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Quincy Troupe are just some of the poets whose work is gathered in this powerful new collection. These poets speak out in the tradition of all poets who speak out in uprisings, seeking to change the landscape despite an environment of oppression, torture, and denial of basic human rights. All poems included were gifted to this anthology, which will benefit PEN Center USA’s Freedom to Write program.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Editor’s Note

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pp. xi-xii

Consider this: “We don’t want war. We just want freedom.” This said by a twenty-seven-year-old protestor as she marched in a peaceful protest in the streets of Tehran. Isn’t this what most people in this world want? Yet freedom has to be fought for.

See Them Coming

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pp. xiii-2

Call and Answer

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pp. 3-18

Lady Freedom among Us

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pp. 4-5

Your Beauty Is Overwhelming

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pp. 6-21

Green

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pp. 7-8

On Reading a Biography of George Washington

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pp. 9-10

End of the War, 1949

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pp. 11-26

Kubota to Miguel Hernandez in Heaven, Leupp, Arizona, 1942

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pp. 12-13

Night in Blue

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pp. 14-29

This Place is Here

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pp. 15-17

Tienanmen, The Aftermath

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pp. 18-33

In Mystic

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pp. 19-20

All Hallows Eve

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pp. 21-22

History Lesson

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pp. 23-38

An Essay on Liberation

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pp. 24-39

November 11

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pp. 25-26

Parable of the Jew without a Name

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pp. 27-28

Tahrir

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pp. 29-44

Unrest

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pp. 30-45

Summer of ’09

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pp. 31-46

Reading about Rwanda

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pp. 32-33

The Freeways Considered As Earth Gods

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pp. 34-35

The Squash Man

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pp. 36-51

The Bridge of Intellectuals

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pp. 37-38

Dialogue (Of the Imagination’s Fear)

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pp. 39-41

Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday [“Live in the Body, Long As You Will, Madiba”]

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pp. 42-43

War Is Never Right

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pp. 44-45

Athena Looks On

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pp. 46-47

Jerusalem: Easter, Passover

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pp. 48-50

Boy Shooting at a Statue

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pp. 51-66

Angels

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pp. 52-67

To Salah Al Hamdani, November, 2008

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pp. 53-54

After the Fact

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pp. 55-70

The Book of the Dead Man (The Vote)

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pp. 56-57

The Museum of Stones

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pp. 58-59

Rules Governing the Exchange of Prisoners

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pp. 60-61

Language Acquisition: No and Yes

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pp. 62-63

On Election Day

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pp. 64-65

Shoo

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pp. 66-81

Second Thoughts

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pp. 67-68

Becoming Milton

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pp. 69-70

World Cup

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pp. 71-72

In Prison

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pp. 73-88

Now

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pp. 74-89

On the Ordination of a Zen Monk

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pp. 75-76

Extraordinary Rendition

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pp. 77-92

Staff Sgt. Metz

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pp. 78-79

Ex-Embassy

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pp. 80-82

August 6, and again on August 9

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pp. 83-84

The Allusion of Seduction

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pp. 85-86

Dear Prudence

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pp. 87-102

Asphodel

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pp. 88-89

Dark Thirty

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pp. 90-91

Teacup Manifesto

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pp. 92-93

Fatwa

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pp. 94-97

What’s Fair Is Fair

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pp. 98-113

Poverty

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pp. 99-100

The Gatekeeper’s Children

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pp. 101-116

More Poetry

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pp. 102-103

The People of the Other Village

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pp. 104-119

Wait

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pp. 105-106

Afterword

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pp. 107-108

Acknowledgments

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pp. 109-112

Notes

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pp. 113-116

Contributors

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pp. 117-140

Back Cover

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p. 156-156


E-ISBN-13: 9781610755177
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557286291

Page Count: 115
Publication Year: 2013

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Subject Headings

  • Protest poetry, American.
  • Human rights -- Poetry.
  • Liberty -- Poetry.
  • Freedom of expression -- Poetry.
  • American poetry -- 21st century
  • African Americans ǂx Music ǂx History and criticism
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