The Chameleon Couch

The Chameleon Couch: Poems. Farrar. Apr. 2011. c.128p. ISBN 9780374120382. $24. POETRY
OrangeReviewStar"I am a black man, a poet, a bohemian,/ & there isn't a road my mind doesn't travel." Komunyakaa sounds a lot like Whitman. His poetry is personal, full of wonder, love, and drama. "I am a scrappy old lion," he tells us. More to the point, though, he is "the son of poor Mildred & illiterate J.W.," and his stories and themes will resonate with anyone who has loved, hurt, and watched as the world around him has taken bloom, gone gray, then burst into color again. With a feel for urban rhythms and an eye for pastoral beauty, in poems that walk us through New York City, Poland, Italy, Ghana, and elsewhere, Komunyakaa is a seeker. He finds more questions than answers, perhaps, but often enough with a bit of wisdom, and all the time it is bluesmen and jazzmen charting his way.
VERDICT This is an important volume by one of the more important poets of our day, and therefore essential for lovers of the genre.
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