By Garrett Hongo
Garrett Hongo's long-awaited 3rd selection of poems is a gorgeous, elegiac accumulating of his Japanese-American ancestors of their Hawaiian panorama and a testomony to the ability of poetry, because it brings their marginalized but heroic narratives into the world of art.
In Coral street Hongo explores the heritage of the impermanent place of origin his ancestors discovered at the island of O'ahu after their immigration from southern Japan, and meditates at the dramatic stories of the islands. In luxurious narrative poems he's taking up strands of family members tales and what he calls "a lengthy legacy of silence" approximately their event as agreement employees alongside the North Shore of the island. within the establishing series, he brings to lifestyles the tale of his great-grandparents fleeing from one plantation to a different, discovering their approach by way of moonlight alongside coral roads and railroad tracks. As his grandmother, a lady of ten with an boy or girl on her again, traverses "twelve-score stands of cane / chittering like small birds, nocturnal harpies within the feral constancies of wind," Hongo asks, "Where is the Virgil who may well lead me throughout the shallow underworld of this history?" in reality, it's Hongo who courses himself--and us--as, in those committed acts of recollection, he seeks to dispel the dislocation on the middle of his legacy.
The love of art--making attractiveness in besides the fact that provisional a culture--has in actual fact been a guideline in Hongo's poetry. during this content-rich verse, Hongo hearkens to and provides "the luminous and the anecdotal," bringing forth a whole aesthetic adventure from the shards that make up a lifestyles.
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Additional resources for Coral Road: Poems
Night Ray Most brightly of all burned the hair of my evening loved one; to her I send the coffin of lightest wood. Waves billow round it as round the bed of our dream in Rome; it wears a white wig as I do and speaks hoarsely: it talks as I do when I grant admittance to hearts. It knows a French song about love, I sang it in autumn when I stopped as a tourist in Lateland and wrote my letters to morning. A fine boat is that coffin carved in the coppice of feelings. I too drift in it downbloodstream, younger still than your eye.
Pray, Lord. We are near. 48 Flower The stone. The stone in the air, which I followed. Your eye, as blind as the stone. We were hands, we baled the darkness empty, we found the word that ascended summer: flower. Flower - a blind man's word. Your eye and mine: they see to water. Growth. Heart wall upon heart wall adds petals to it. One more word like this word, and the hammers will swing over open ground. 49 Language Mesh Eye's roundness between the bars. Vibratile monad eyelid propels itself upward, releases a glance.
Seven nights higher red makes for red, seven hearts deeper the hand knocks on the gate, seven roses later the fountain begins to plash. 35 Thejugs At the long tables of time thejugs of God carouse. They drink empty the eyes that see and the eyes of the blind, the hearts of the mastering shadows, the hollow cheek of the evening. They are the most mighty carousers: they carry empty and full alike to their mouths and do not flow over like you or like me. 36 from Von Schwelle zu Schwelle (1955) Front Darkness to Darkness You opened your eyes - 1 saw my darkness live.
Coral Road: Poems by Garrett Hongo