Cover image for The Venus Hottentot
Title:
The Venus Hottentot
Author:
Alexander, Elizabeth, 1962-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Charlottesville, VA : University Press of Virginia, 1990.
Physical Description:
viii, 52 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Poems.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780813912646

9780813912738
Format :
Book

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PS3551.L3494 V46 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

The Venus Hottentot is the first collection of poems, including eight previously unpublished, by this exciting young poet. Elizabeth Alexander's poems are at once private and collective-addressing issues that are public concerns, but driven by private voices.


Summary

The Venus Hottentot is the first collection of poems, including eight previously unpublished, by this exciting young poet. Elizabeth Alexander's poems are at once private and collective-addressing issues that are public concerns, but driven by private voices.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

To the brilliant young poet Alexander, the titular Venus emblematizes black woman's oppression: displayed naked before gawking Victorians, she maintains her pride despite never being able to "return to my family / a dutchess, with watered-silk / dresses and money to grow food," and through her "wordless Odalisque" dignity, she reveals her voyeuristic captor as "shriveled and hard . . . deformed, unnatural." A versatile stylist, Alexander here tries out forms from blues-inspired couplets to split-syllable free verse. Her most natural style, however, seems to be a four-line ballad stanza, which, in Alexander's hands, can be jazzy or narrative, conversational or abstract. She is a poet to watch. --Pat Monaghan


Library Journal Review

This strong collection of poems explores the realm of African-American culture. The poems interweave blues, jazz, art, and ancestry into historical compositions, all rendered in sharp imagery. Witness these lines from ``A Poem for Nelson Mandela'': ``I smell barbecue from every direction/and hear black hands tolling church bells,/hear wind hissing through elm trees/through dry grasses.'' It is evident that Alexander has an eye for accuracy in describing the past as well as the present, but this work is more than reportage; it is a very imaginative collection of poems that should appeal to many readers. The subject matter is varied and well thought out and, yes, most libraries should have a copy.-- Le nard 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

To the brilliant young poet Alexander, the titular Venus emblematizes black woman's oppression: displayed naked before gawking Victorians, she maintains her pride despite never being able to "return to my family / a dutchess, with watered-silk / dresses and money to grow food," and through her "wordless Odalisque" dignity, she reveals her voyeuristic captor as "shriveled and hard . . . deformed, unnatural." A versatile stylist, Alexander here tries out forms from blues-inspired couplets to split-syllable free verse. Her most natural style, however, seems to be a four-line ballad stanza, which, in Alexander's hands, can be jazzy or narrative, conversational or abstract. She is a poet to watch. --Pat Monaghan


Library Journal Review

This strong collection of poems explores the realm of African-American culture. The poems interweave blues, jazz, art, and ancestry into historical compositions, all rendered in sharp imagery. Witness these lines from ``A Poem for Nelson Mandela'': ``I smell barbecue from every direction/and hear black hands tolling church bells,/hear wind hissing through elm trees/through dry grasses.'' It is evident that Alexander has an eye for accuracy in describing the past as well as the present, but this work is more than reportage; it is a very imaginative collection of poems that should appeal to many readers. The subject matter is varied and well thought out and, yes, most libraries should have a copy.-- Le nard 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.