Talking Dirty to the Gods: Poems

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 12, 2001 - Poetry - 144 pages
11 Reviews

A daredevil poetic achievement nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award

. . . A god isn't worth
A drop of water in the hell of his good

Imagination, if we can't curse
Sunsets & threaten to forsake him
In his storehouse of belladonna,
Tiger hornets, & snakebites.
--from "Meditations in a Swine Yard"

No turn in any life cycle is taboo as Yusef Komunyakaa examines the primal rituals shared by insects, animals, human beings, and deities in Talking Dirty to the Gods. From "Hearsay" to "Heresy," these 132 poems, each consisting of four quatrains, are framed by innuendo and lively satire. Komunyakaa looks to nature and configures his own paradigm, in which an event as commonplace as the jewel wasp laying an egg in a cockroach becomes every bit as grand as Zeus's infidelity. The formally rigorous collection is itself a design for a systematic cosmos, a world compressed but abundant in surprise and delight.

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Review: Talking Dirty to the Gods

User Review  - Victoria - Goodreads

I read this book on the recommendation of my boyfriend, who raved about Yusef Komunyakaa's poetry. At first, I didn't understand the hype. Each poem is written in four quatrains, and the form and ... Read full review

Review: Talking Dirty to the Gods

User Review  - Tyler Russell - Goodreads

Have been meaning to read some of Komunyakaa's work for some time now, finally picked this up...I don't like every poem, but there are definitely some amazing lines that make my skin tingle they are so good. Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Yusef Komunyakaa was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, in 1947. His eleven books of poems include Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. He is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

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