Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Angel Dye's Breathe: Celebrations and serious introspections

Angel C. Dye's poems in Breathe had me moving in multiple directions.

After reading "Black is" and "Breathe," I was going to talk about this book of celebrations. Dye gives us powerful renderings of black people, black women, and black culture. 

That observation remains true. 

But I also read her poem "Keeping Company," and the opening lines got me: "The thing you hate most about yourself / invites itself over / shows up at your door unannounced." 


Breathe had me thinking about variations -- the ups and downs, the moves this way and the moves that way. 

So that's what we have: outward celebrations and serious introspections. 

That "serious" can sometimes be pained, and other times it can be about a kind of searching or a kind of recognition of solemn understanding. Her serious observations often slow my reading, as I have to stop and think a little about what she's saying. 

Or more truthfully, here's the thing: when Angel Dye is writing personally about her, you sometimes feel that she's writing personally about you. Like I said, serious. 


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