Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (September 17, 2014)
Reviewed by g emil reutter
Afaa Michael Weaver, son of a sharecropper, soldier, factory worker, professor. He has traveled a unique road, a road carved out and built by Weaver himself. He presents us with poetry that is grounded yet spiritual. City of Eternal Spring is the concluding book of a trilogy that includes The Plum Flower Dance and The Government of Nature.
The poems in this collection present the reader with a blending of American rearing and Chinese spiritualism.
From the 2nd stanza of the poem Recognition:
I am you sitting in chairs, memories coming back
to fill my bones with you, inform the way I get about,
growing old little by little, trying to enlarge the circles
of mother and father and son, the circles my mother made
for me in the pain of bringing me back from breakdowns
so I can see my birth…
A beautiful stanza reflecting life itself in Weaver’s view. In the chair, memories filling bones, growing old little by little, enlarging circles, freed from breakdowns, born again.
Weaver’s poem MRT about trains and subways and travel gently brings us to another place, unexpected, our arrival not physical at all.
From the 2nd stanza of the poem MRT:
Being is filling the sack of something, knowing
yourself as a space, having mind take over
everything, ignoring the tubes and liquids
that give it something to drive, the mind driving,
stopped only by pain, and the train keeps pain
away from us, as perfect a machine as Chinese
genius can make, no undue slap against the rails
like Boston’s T, or the horror of underground
cities in New York. This is the Swiss ticking
of time in a life where I hide in the language,
bury myself in memorizing a writing that is
the opposite of abc, an American born color
like blackness, a curtain holding itself over me
a talking mirror that lets these staring eyes believe
what American hatred would teach them with
it disciples living here, the white minds who
spread the sickness of the place where I was born.
City of Eternal Spring is a bold collection from Afaa Michael Weaver. As he embraces spiritualism, Weaver always has two feet firmly planted in the American experience as he has lived it.
Check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/City-Eternal-Spring-Pitt-Poetry/dp/0822963256/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411581449&sr=1-1&keywords=city+of+eternal+spring+by+afaa+michael+weaver
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/