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Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: Poems
Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: Poems | Martín Espada
6 posts | 4 read | 4 to read
Award-winning poet Martín Espada gives voice to the spirit of endurance in the face of loss. In this powerful new collection of poems, Martín Espada articulates the transcendent vision of another, possible world. He invokes the words of Whitman in “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed,” a cycle of sonnets about the Paterson Silk Strike and the immigrant laborers who envisioned an eight-hour workday. At the heart of this volume is a series of ten poems about the death of the poet’s father. “El Moriviví” uses the metaphor of a plant that grows in Puerto Rico to celebrate the many lives of Frank Espada, community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer, from a jailhouse in Mississippi to the streets of Brooklyn. The son lyrically imagines his father’s return to a bay in Puerto Rico: “May the water glow blue as a hyacinth in your hands.” Other poems confront collective grief in the wake of the killings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and police violence against people of color: “Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World” urges us to “melt the bullets into bells.” Yet the poet also revels in the absurd, recalling his dubious career as a Shakespearean “actor,” finding madness and tenderness in the crowd at Fenway Park. In exquisitely wrought images, Espada’s poems show us the faces of Whitman’s “numberless unknown heroes.”
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kgriffith
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Got to see Martín Espada read at the Care Center in Holyoke this morning and got verbal permission to take a writing class with him in the Spring, had Mia Mingas as a guest in my transformative justice class, then my anthropology professor with a reputation for being a tough writing critic said my latest essay was so good that she hopes I‘ll consider publishing it in some form, so I‘m having a pretty good day despite the rain and dark. ? ? ??

readordierachel What a great compliment! 1mo
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kgriffith
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I would have liked to go to the aquarium before the live Penumbra show, but this will have to do. The show was amazing, Espada is amazing, octopuses are amazing, and I‘m going to bed exhausted and satisfied.

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kgriffith
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Went to my favorite local indie to pick up my copy of Martín Espada‘s latest (ordered it two weeks ago, ran out of time to pick it up before meeting him Thursday, IT‘S FINE, WHATEVER, I bought two other books and he signed them) and came across these alphabet cookbooks as I wandered. The fact that they had a copy of the C is a piece of perfection, and now I‘m dedicated to collecting the series. See comments for cookbook tag.

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VioletBramble
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Poetry for Tourists

The poets bring poetry to the Coney Island Aquarium, around the corner from the wooden roller coaster creaking since 1927, tourists staggering away queasy, yet hungry for a hot dog on the boardwalk.
We will tempt them to taste the steamed tofu dog of poetry instead.

June. #poetrychallenge2018

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VioletBramble
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Poetry for Jellyfish

Tonight, we declaim poems at the jellyfish exhibit, creatures that plummet like parachutes of light, illuminated mushrooms zooming sideways, amusing themselves, oblivious to the nuances of alliteration and assonance, silently refusing to clap after the last poem.

#poetrychallenge2018

Libby1 Although I would love to see a jellyfish trying to applaud. 1y
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catpdx
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Incredibly powerful book of poetry. Highly, highly recommend.