Friday, August 28, 2015
August 28, 2015: More Poems I Love: Alexie’s “Exaggeration”
[A few years back, I shared a handful of my favorite American poems in a weeklong series. Before I go back to sharing poems for money—well, teaching them as part of my job, but you get the idea—I wanted to highlight another week’s worth of favorite poems and a couple reasons why I love each. Share your favorites in comments, please!]
Today’s favorite poem is Sherman Alexie’s “The Exaggeration of Despair” (1996).
I love “Exaggeration” because it reminds me, eternal optimist that I am, of the darkest histories of our nation, histories far too often visited upon Native Americans like the poem’s speaker and his family and community but ones that reach across all cultural and social spectra of our society. I love it because at the same time it embodies the need to “open the door,” to remember and narrate those histories and stories. And I love it because it does so with rawness and grace, with pain and power, with all that poetry can do and much that only it can.
August Recap this weekend,
PS. Thoughts on this poem? Other favorites you’d share?