Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems

Half of the World in Light New and Selected Poems Includes an audio CD of the author reading For nearly four decades Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning memorable po

  • Title: Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems
  • Author: Juan Felipe Herrera Francisco A. Lomelí
  • ISBN: 9780816527038
  • Page: 305
  • Format: Paperback
  • Includes an audio CD of the author reading For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a uIncludes an audio CD of the author reading For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a unique sensibility for uncovering the unknown and the unexpected Through a variety of stages and transformations, Herrera has evolved than almost any other Chicano poet, always re inventing himself into a mature and seasoned voice Now, in this unprecedented collection, we encounter the trajectory of this highly innovative and original writer, bringing the full scope of his singular vision into view Beginning with early material from A Certain Man and moving through thirteen of his collections into new, previously unpublished work, this assemblage also includes an audio CD of the author reading twenty four selected poems aloud Serious scholars and readers alike will now have available to them a representative set of glimpses into his production as well as his origins and personal development The ultimate value of bringing together such a collection, however, is that it will allow us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of what this major American poet is all about.

    One thought on “Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems”

    1. This collection of poems covers the years 1969 to the year of the book’s publication, 2008. As a consequence, readers get to see the development of Herrera’s poems over a long period. He has been described as being deeply grounded in his Chicano culture, and this is certainly true. He writes as the child of migrant farm workers, but also as a politically-aware Chicano activist. He draws often on Aztlan themes, and he clearly identifies with oppressed minorities in other parts of the world, n [...]

    2. I am completely unqualified to critique poetry in any way whatsoever, so when listing this type of book I simply include a sample and let you judge for yourself:"From here we see them, we the ones from here, not there or across, only here, without the bridge, without the arms as blue liquid quenching the secret thirst of unmarked graves, without our flesh journeying refuge or pilgrimage; not passengers on imaginary ships sailing between reef and sky, we that die here awake on Harrison Street, on [...]

    3. Is intimacy inherently without borders, boundaries? Is intimacy possible with borders, boundaries? I posed these two questions and later walked out of the book club feeling so embarrassed at all that I shared, verbal-vomit-wise, not all related to those two questions but just everything and realized that there IS an approximate way to determine how much I have opened up my vulnerability, and it is how uncomfortable I am afterward. I am also—so—That is not to say I had a bad time at all. The [...]

    4. I will keep returning to these poems and re-reading them, not because they have become favorites, but because I want to understand them, and have found so many opaque. They don't feel empty or facile, though it's a strange this to take away from a poem, that it reflects genuine craft, even when I have only dim sense of what the author is saying and haven't experienced its intended effect. But many of these feel like very good poems, just inaccessible to me, at least until I develop more sense of [...]

    5. I liked this collection of poetry or most of it anyway. Several of the selections were just too graphic for me, but I understand Herrera is trying to translate war horror into words. And I think his efforts leave a more lasting impression than even a graphic photo. I appreciated his approach from his own roots rather than trying to translate that into another culture. After watching him read several works which appear in this book I began to understand more and hear his voice coming through more [...]

    6. See NBCC Board Member Rigoberto Gonzalez's review at Critical Mass, as part of 30 Books in 30 Days: bookcritics/blog/archive/2

    7. Herrara's poetry resonates with me, and this book even has a CD with him reciting his poems. Lovely combo.

    8. This collection of poems hit me in so many different ways, in so many different wounds. Herrera is a poet of corazon, of pain, and of the people. My favorite poems of his tended to be his “character sketch” type pieces. Notably, his three pieces on Citlalic “La Loca” Cienfuegos. They held such power and painted a wonderfully abstract portrait of a revolutionary I wish I knew in real life. He is the first Latino Poet Laurate, and rightfully so.

    9. Herrera is currently the U.S. Poet Laureate. The New York Times says, “A wildly inventive, always unpredictable poet.” That sums up this collection: 300 pages, over 40 years of work, so varied in range of topic and style that it’s difficult to write a review. For most readers, there’s something to love and something that escapes you. Herrera takes chances. The introduction calls him “a visionary kaleidoscope,” who creates “Picasso-like confabulations.”I bought this book (which al [...]

    10. If I could give this a negative star I would. 90% of these are the worst "poems" I've ever read. As a criticism student I will attest that in no way should these works be considered poetry by any scholarly definition. He is a hack. I never thought I could be capable of hating any book or poem or essay but this is putrid garbage. The fact that Herrera is poet laureate in the US makes me doubt modern poetry as a whole.

    11. I can honestly say this is the worst collection of poetry I have ever read. Call me old school, but I don't think that the majority of Herrera's works even qualify as poetry. It is the most impassionate and thoughtless work I have ever had the displeasure of reading. The fact that Herrera is Poet Laureate just baffles me and, frankly, makes me doubt modern poetry in general.

    12. I thoroughly enjoyed these poems. The author sees the world in an avalanche of unusual adjctives and metaphors. Constantly I had the feeling that I did not know where I was standing as the rug was pulled out from beneath my feet.This is a beautiful and tumultuous adventure that will not leave your consciousness soon. Highly recommended.

    13. Being an English minor in college, I felt that I must read a book by the new poet laureate of the United States. I enjoyed most of the poems in this book; however I have a feeling that I missed some of the cultural nuances. That "connotation" gets you every time.

    14. I think I need to read each of Herrera's collections. I need some time to process. I'm stunned. I think he's incredible.

    15. DNF. My Spanish is near to nonexistent and he switches freely between both Spanish and English. The handful I read that were in English only were lovely though.

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