In a stunning new collection of poems of transport and transcendence, African-American poet Nathaniel Mackey's qasthmatic song of aspirationq scuttles across cultures and historiesfrom America to Andalucia, from Ethiopia to Viennain a sexy, beautiful adaptive dance. Part antiphonal rant, part rhythmic whisper, Nathaniel Mackey's new collection of poems, Splay Anthem, takes the reader to uncharted poetic spaces. Divided into three sectionsqBraid, q qFray, q and qNubq (one referent Mackey notes in his stellar Introduction: qthe imperial, flailing republic of Nub the United States has become, the shrunken place the earth has become, planet Nubq)Splay Anthem weaves together two ongoing serial poems Mackey has been writing for over twenty years, Song of the Andoumboulou and qMuq (though qmu no more itself / than Andoumboulouq). In the cosmology of the Dogon of West Africa, the Andoumboulou are progenitor spirits, and the song of the Andoumboulou is a song addressed to the spirits, a funeral song, a song of rebirth. qMu, q too, splays with meaning: muni bird, Greek muthos, a Sun Ra tune, a continent once thought to have existed in the Pacific. With the vibrancy of a Mira painting, Mackey's poems trace the lost tribe of qweq through waking and dreamtime, through a multitude of geographies, cultures, histories, and musical traditions, as poetry here serves as the intersection of everything, myth's music, spirit lift.... on LSD, as relevant a gloss on splay anthem as any), Pharoah Sanders and, of particular importance to Spearman, Frank Wright, ... to aquot;Song of the Andoumboulou: 10, aquot; three titles in the aquot;mmaquot; series recalling my essay aquot;Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbolaquot; and so on. ... in the work to revisitation and variation conducing to a theme of articulationa#39;s non-ultimacy, a theme too of mortality and new life.
|Publisher||:||New Directions Publishing - 2006|