Of all the Causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring Judgment, and misguide the Mind,
What the weak Head with strongest Byass rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing Vice of Fools.
Whatever Nature has in Worth deny'd,
She gives in large Recruits of needful Pride;
For as in Bodies, thus in Souls, we find
What wants in Blood and Spirits, swell'd with Wind;
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our Defence,
And fills up all the mighty Void of Sense!
If once right Reason drives that Cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless Day;
Trust not your self; but your Defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry Friend--and ev'ry Foe.
At any rate, these seventy-eight poems are the meditations of a woman trying to understand this moment in the middle of my life by looking back with new perspectives at my younger years and looking ahead at the unknown I have to sing to understand. . . What more can I tell you? As I said, poetry is how we say what can't be put into words or into short e-summaries, either.
further reading: Interview with Julia Alvarez in Latina Magazine , April 2004 Homecoming New and Collected Poems (New York: Plume, 1996) My first love has always been poetry. This collection is actually a reissuing of Homecoming , published in 1984 by Grove Press, now out of print. All the old poems from the first edition are here as well as newer work. I wrote an afterword for this second edition, recalling how I freaked when this, my first book, was published. I wanted to go out and buy all copies of the book before anyone could read it. I laugh now, but it reminds me how terrified we women were in the not so long ago past to have public voices. further reading: "Traditional Form and the Living, Breathing American Poet," Fred Muratori -- an essay on contemporary sonnets including "33," in New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly , pp. 231-232, Winter 1986 see this book on
or you may be able to get an autographed copy at
Middlebury College Bookstore or Vermont Book Shop The Other Side/El Otro Lado (New York: Dutton, 1995) Although this book includes some shorter lyrics, most of it is made up of two longer, narrative poems: "Joe," which follows a failed love affair; and the title poem, "The Other Side," a kind of female Odyssey in which a woman with a trail of failures in the . returns to her childhood homeland and ends up living in a small fishing village on the other side of all she knows.