Cover image for Naming our destiny : new and selected poems
Title:
Naming our destiny : new and selected poems
Author:
Jordan, June, 1936-2002.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Thunder's Mouth Press ; St. Paul, Minn. : Distributed by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, [1989]

©1989
Physical Description:
211 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780938410836

9780938410843
Format :
Book

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PS3560.O73 N3 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

"June Jordan is as courageous, as rebellious, as compassionate as she is original.... [She] is an inhabitant of the entire universe." -Alice Walker This collection is the definite anthology of work by June Jordan, compiling poetry from nearly 20 years-including over 50 poems published in the U.S. for the first time. Empathetic to all it encounters, her poetry is a deeply personal music sounded in response to universal concerns. In Naming Our Destiny, she addresses racism, oppression, & dispossession with a call for justice & for sensitivity to our world. June Jordon's works include eight books of poetry, two books of essays, & a novel. She is currently a professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley.


Summary

"June Jordan is as courageous, as rebellious, as compassionate as she is original.... [She] is an inhabitant of the entire universe." -Alice Walker This collection is the definite anthology of work by June Jordan, compiling poetry from nearly 20 years-including over 50 poems published in the U.S. for the first time. Empathetic to all it encounters, her poetry is a deeply personal music sounded in response to universal concerns. In Naming Our Destiny, she addresses racism, oppression, & dispossession with a call for justice & for sensitivity to our world. June Jordon's works include eight books of poetry, two books of essays, & a novel. She is currently a professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley.


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

Let us welcome this compilation of the passionate poetry of June Jordan. Collecting work from three previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems, this volume shows Jordan's range: from struttingly proud female celebrations ("it's not talk that brings us close together / and / thank god?!") to explosions of righteous rage ("What kind of a person could kill a Black / child and then kill a Black child and then / kill a Black child?"), Jordan looks unflinchingly at the hardest realities and states them in the simplest language. Of a rape victim, she says, "a lot of the time the lady could not / breathe / A lot of the time the lady wanted / to lose consciousness." Jordan is a poet without scar tissue: every injustice seems the first; every death is primary. --Pat Monaghan


Publisher's Weekly Review

Jordan ( Living Room ) concludes this volume--which offers poetry written during the past 30 years, including 43 previously uncollected poems--with ``War and Memory,'' a poem aptly summarizing her life: ``I fell in love with Black men White / men Black / women White women / and I / dared myself to say The Palestinians / and I / worried about unilateral words like Lesbian or Nationalist / and I / tried to speak Spanish when I travelled to Managua.'' She attempts to shoulder too many causes here, at times losing herself in rhetoric and politics that could benefit from a fuller discussion. However, in her best work, Jordan takes an infectious delight in language, playing with words to transform experience. She makes artful use of rhyme, and draws from slave ballads and blues music to protest the everyday human tribulations that otherwise might go unnoticed. The span of the book is also instructive, as we witness the author progressing from a youthful struggle with identity to a mature feminist assertion of the rights of all people. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In a collection that includes 50 new poems, Jordan again demonstrates that she is still pushing to change the world. Courageously, yet always with a born lyricist's delicate touch, she goes beyond past accomplishment to produce a monumental volume that in its stance against oppression resonates again and again: ``At the throat of Soweto/ a devil language falls/slashing/ claw syllables to shred and leave/raw/ the tongue of the young/ girl.'' Though Jordan's voice is especially musical in her sonnets, the range of all these poems is wide , touching our very souls. A significant new work that establishes the Jordan canon; highly recommended.-- Lenard D. Moore, Writer-in-Residence, Wake Cty. Arts Council , N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Let us welcome this compilation of the passionate poetry of June Jordan. Collecting work from three previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems, this volume shows Jordan's range: from struttingly proud female celebrations ("it's not talk that brings us close together / and / thank god?!") to explosions of righteous rage ("What kind of a person could kill a Black / child and then kill a Black child and then / kill a Black child?"), Jordan looks unflinchingly at the hardest realities and states them in the simplest language. Of a rape victim, she says, "a lot of the time the lady could not / breathe / A lot of the time the lady wanted / to lose consciousness." Jordan is a poet without scar tissue: every injustice seems the first; every death is primary. --Pat Monaghan


Publisher's Weekly Review

Jordan ( Living Room ) concludes this volume--which offers poetry written during the past 30 years, including 43 previously uncollected poems--with ``War and Memory,'' a poem aptly summarizing her life: ``I fell in love with Black men White / men Black / women White women / and I / dared myself to say The Palestinians / and I / worried about unilateral words like Lesbian or Nationalist / and I / tried to speak Spanish when I travelled to Managua.'' She attempts to shoulder too many causes here, at times losing herself in rhetoric and politics that could benefit from a fuller discussion. However, in her best work, Jordan takes an infectious delight in language, playing with words to transform experience. She makes artful use of rhyme, and draws from slave ballads and blues music to protest the everyday human tribulations that otherwise might go unnoticed. The span of the book is also instructive, as we witness the author progressing from a youthful struggle with identity to a mature feminist assertion of the rights of all people. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In a collection that includes 50 new poems, Jordan again demonstrates that she is still pushing to change the world. Courageously, yet always with a born lyricist's delicate touch, she goes beyond past accomplishment to produce a monumental volume that in its stance against oppression resonates again and again: ``At the throat of Soweto/ a devil language falls/slashing/ claw syllables to shred and leave/raw/ the tongue of the young/ girl.'' Though Jordan's voice is especially musical in her sonnets, the range of all these poems is wide , touching our very souls. A significant new work that establishes the Jordan canon; highly recommended.-- Lenard D. Moore, Writer-in-Residence, Wake Cty. Arts Council , N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.