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Be Recorder: Poems by Carmen Giménez Smith

Be Recorder: Poems by Carmen Giménez Smith

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From Graywolf Press:

when my children found out
the tooth fairy wasn’t real
it was the death of innocence
and the beginning of a new world
they’ll recall in their old age
as the days when we had
to begin to start over even
the hope myths keeping
us afloat revised to include
the bodies we used as ballast
not the end of innocence
but the beginning of futurity
rousing the earth to avenge
our bodies her munitions
—from “Be Recorder”
Be Recorder offers readers a blazing way forward into an as yet unmade world. The many times and tongues in these poems investigate the precariousness of personhood in lines that excoriate and sanctify. Carmen Giménez Smith turns the increasingly pressing urge to cry out into a dream of rebellion—against compromise, against inertia, against self-delusion, and against the ways the media dream up our complacency in an America that depends on it. This reckoning with self and nation demonstrates that who and where we are is as conditional as the fact of our compliance: “Miss America from sea to shining sea / the huddled masses have a question / there is one of you and all of us.” Be Recorder is unrepentant and unstoppable, and affirms Giménez Smith as one of our time’s most vital and vivacious poets.