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.Related: