Saturday, September 27, 2008

Clean sweep

The very first book of poems I ever bought was Homecoming: New and Collected Poems by Julia Alvarez. It was, I thought at the time, brilliant. I was probably a senior in high school, maybe even a freshman in college, and a budding feminist. A bulk of the poems in Alvarez's book were included in a section titled "Housekeeping." In it were poems titled "How I Learned to Sweep" and "Storm Windows". I was enthralled. This was powerful stuff to my teenage mind. Flipping through Homecoming today, my 30-year-old mind is not as enthralled, though I am thankful for the book as it was an early inspiration for my own work. The poems in Homecoming are, for the most part, mediocre, though as this video from Current TV demonstrates, the sentiment behind them is still alive and well, though feminism has a better sense of humor.

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