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Fb2 Sonata Mulattica: Poems ePub

by Rita Dove

Category: Poetry
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Rita Dove
ISBN: 0393070085
ISBN13: 978-0393070088
Language: English
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 6, 2009)
Pages: 240
Fb2 eBook: 1467 kb
ePub eBook: 1633 kb
Digital formats: mbr lrf txt doc

Having seen Rita Dove recently at the Downtown library in Los Angeles, I was determined to purchase her latest volume, Sonata Mulattica. This is a most unusual set of poems, including a small play! There is nothing forbidding about Dove's poems. She reaches her reader with every word

Having seen Rita Dove recently at the Downtown library in Los Angeles, I was determined to purchase her latest volume, Sonata Mulattica. She reaches her reader with every word. It is not surprising that she has been a Poet Laureate This is a most appealing work, even for those not familiar with poetry.

Dove has published ten volumes of poetry, a book of short stories (Fifth . Harrington, Walt, "The Shape of Her Dreaming: Rita Dove Writes a Poem.

Dove has published ten volumes of poetry, a book of short stories (Fifth Sunday, 1985), a collection of essays (The Poet's World, 1995), and a novel, Through the Ivory Gate (1992). Her Collected Poems 1974–2004 was released by . Norton in 2016; it carries an excerpt from President Barack Obama's 2011 National Medal of Arts commendation on its back cover. Dove's most ambitious collection of poetry to date, Sonata Mulattica, was published in 2009  .

Rita Dove’s work cannot be pinned down with regard to a specific era or school in contemporary literature; her wide-ranging topics and the . Rita Dove's next poetry book, "Sonata Mulattica", is forthcoming in the spring of 2009.

Her most famous work to date is Thomas and Beulah, published by Carnegie-Mellon University Press in 1986, a collection of poems loosely based on the lives of her maternal grandparents, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 1987.

Sonata Mulattica book. The son of a white woman and an African Prince, George Polgreen.

Sonata Mulattica: Poems Paperback – 27 September 2010. by Rita Dove (Author). Dove's richly imagined book has the sweep and vivid characters of a novel, but it's written with a poet's economy, an eye for the exact detail. Rita Dove is the recipient of many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is a Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville.

31 poems of Rita Dove. Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952) is an American poet and author. From 1993–1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Still I Rise, The Road Not Taken, If You Forget Me, Dreams, Annabel Lee. From 1993–1995 she served. She was the first African American to be appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986 out of the previous "consultant in poetry" position (1937–86).

Sonata Mulattica follows the tempestuous life of 18th century violinist Bridgetower, who took Europe by storm, had a famous sonata composed for him, and died in obscurity

Sonata Mulattica follows the tempestuous life of 18th century violinist Bridgetower, who took Europe by storm, had a famous sonata composed for him, and died in obscurity. The Los Angeles Times described Dove’s book as an ambitious effort, using multiple distinctive voices and perspectives to chronicle the complex tale ‘of light and shadow,, what we hear and the silence that follows. Poet Mark Doty called the work richly imagined, with the sweep and vivid characters of a novel, bu. ritten with a poet's economy, an eye for the exact detail

Her mother, Elvira, had achieved an honours degree at college and would become Rita’s inspiration when it came to reading and literature. She was well educated, leaving Buchtel High School with the prestigious Presidential Scholar award and going on to achieve a BA at Miami University. Arguably her most significant piece of work though, called Sonata Mulattica, ran to some two hundred pages and was described by fellow poet Mark Doty as having th. .sweep and vivid characters of a novel.

In a book-length lyric narrative inspired by history and imagination, a much celebrated poet re-creates the life of a nineteenth-century virtuoso violinist.

The son of a white woman and an “African Prince,” George Polgreen Bridgetower (1780–1860) travels to Vienna to meet “bad-boy” genius Ludwig van Beethoven. The great composer’s subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young mulatto, but George, exuberant with acclaim, offends Beethoven over a woman. From this crucial encounter evolves a grandiose yet melancholy poetic tale.
Comments to eBook Sonata Mulattica: Poems
JOGETIME
I am a poet, a musician, and a critic; but all intellect dropped away as I read the very first poem in this book-length historical-drama in verse. It is a nearly unknown but absolutely true story that Beethoven wrote his most difficult Violin/Piano sonata NOT for Kreutzer (whose name it still bears) but for a young mulatto boy whose virtuosity dazzled Europe. After a tavern brawl Beethoven rededicated the sonata to Kreutzer - who called it "unplayable" and never ever performed it!
Rita Dove masterly paints the entire classical era with a finely tuned pen, using the long-lived Haydn as a backdrop to all the other musical lives. Like music, her style ranges from classical to popular, to soul and rap . . . but never straying far from the what MIGHT have been, if only the world's most famous violin sonata had a black boy's name for its title.
Halloween
Having read so many novels recently written with the sensibility of a poet, I was curious to see what former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove would make of this cycle of 85 poems that together take the form of a novel. A biographical novel about a footnote to musical history: the mulatto violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower. Beethoven (who ought to know) called him a crazy genius ("gran pazzo") and was inspired to write him his most difficult violin sonata. But the two quarreled over a girl and, in a fit of pique, Beethoven rededicated the work now known as the KREUTZER SONATA.

So we have a real-life story, or at least some outlines for the writer to fill in. George's father was a self-styled African Prince brought to the Austro-Hungarian court as part, frankly, of a human menagerie; gifted in many languages, he seems to have had an instinctive nose for that touch of exotic wildness that would secure his place in European society. George's mother was a German woman of Polish descent. George himself, as a boy on the Esterhazy estate, comes to the notice of Joseph Haydn, who develops his musical talents to the point where he creates a sensation at his Paris debut at the age of 9, and thereafter gets adopted by the English court. He is 23 when he visits Vienna, enthralls Beethoven then maddens him, and returns in defeat to England; there, he will serve for 20 years as leader of the Prince Regent's orchestra, wander abroad, and return to die in a London suburb at the end of his eighth decade.

It is a rocket of a story with a long dying fall. Poetry doesn't narrate the upward trajectory -- for that you need the chronology and racy notes at the back -- so much as punctuate the ascent with starbursts of wonder: "I was nothing if not everything | when the music was in me. | I could be fierce, I could shred | the heads off flowers for breakfast | with my bare teeth, simply because | I deserved such loveliness." But poetry excels prose in its ability to meditate on those plotless later years. Some poems cry out in anger, as here in RAIN when George takes leave of the cultural cacophony of Vienna: "Because we're wading through wreckage, we're | not even listening to all the crash and clatter -- | chords wrenched from their moorings, smashed | etudes, arpeggios glistening as they heave and sink. | Ciphers, the lot of them. Their money, their perfumed stink." Others are almost unbearably poignant, as in HALF LIFE: I'm a shadow in sunlight, | unable to blush | or whiten in winter. | Beautiful monster, | where to next -- | when you can hear | the wind howl | behind you, the gate | creaking shut?"

This reference to George Bridgetower's race is of course of interest to Dove, who is of African descent herself. But despite the title, SONATA MULATTICA is about many sorts of ways of reducing a person's individuality, even while feting him for some extraordinary success. There is little difference between the prodigy George, his African showman of a father, or the real life negro busker Black Billy Waters, who makes several ribald appearances. Even the great Haydn chafes at being treated like a chattel. Here is George at 9, in recital with another child prodigy: "Two rag dolls set out for tea | in our smart red waistcoats, | we suffered their delight, | we did not fail our parts -- | not as boys nor rivals even | but men: broken, then improperly | mended; abandoned | far beyond the province | of the innocent."

I would mention three other things that poetry does extremely well. One is to play with form and style. Dove's range is extremely wide, taking in sonnet and rondeau, popular nursery rhymes and street songs, many types of free verse, some concrete poetry, and even a short verse play. The effect, as she skips from the 18th century to the 21st and back, is rather like what Peter Maxwell Davies does with popular music in his brilliant EIGHT SONGS FOR A MAD KING, simultaneously capturing the period and anatomizing it. But poetry and music are indeed close; that is my second point. Poems like POLGREEN SIGHT-READING, in which the violinist, half by sheer intuition, struggles with Beethoven's manuscript are amazing evocations of the extraordinary in music: "I've been destined to travel these impossible | switchbacks, but it's as if I'm skating | on his heart, blood tracks | looping everywhere...". Finally, poetry can be intensely personal. One of the most moving poems of all is the last, THE END, WITH MAPQUEST, where Dove comes back to visit the very ordinary suburb where Bridgetower died, ending with a confession: "Do I care enough, George Augustus Bridgetower, | to miss you? I don't even know if I really like you. | I don't know if your playing was truly gorgeous | or if it was just you, the sheer miracle of all | that darkness swaying close enough to touch, | palm tree and Sambo and glistening tiger | running circles into golden oil. Ah, | Master B, little great man, tell me: | How does a shadow shine?"
Querlaca
This is a book of poetry for the right and left mind. Dust off your Beethoven, Hayden, Mozart, your German, French, Latin, Italian, and your 1795-1860 history of Britain and Europe. Peppered with allusions and distant cadences, one hears modern English poetry expressed in a word sonata by poet Rita Dove.

What a mind has created this Sonata Mulattica: Poems, a genre-shattering composition, gifted in the most artistic wrappings. The synthesized story of violinist George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower advances from poem to poem. In it one hears "the witchery of orchestral strings" or "feel[s] each string's ecstasy" as the words of Rita Dove are able "to release God's glory into the air." She offers strings of poetical pearls in "Polgreen, Sight Reading," "The Performer," "Black Pearl," and "Andante con Variazioni." In its Var. IV: Maggiore appears: "... and I feel for hours afterwards a sustenance. That is the story I wish to read, the line of song I'd follow into thin air...."

Simultaneously Dove leads us directly to heart strings, the pain of not being seen as a gentleman -- the desire "to simply be and be and be." The Sonata Mulattica echoes repeatedly the words of Schuppanzigh, director of the Augarten concerts: "I see you brought along your shadow." From metaphorical assaults and the pain of racism mitigated by society upon a mulatto musician, who played for The Prince of Wales and Beethoven, the intense pain of darkness permeates the contrasts of light and darkness within the poems. "Black Billy Waters, at His Pitch" sounds the base string: "All men are beggars, white or black."

Rita Dove's inspiration is constantly present, and the poet's shadow brings painful pleasure: "This is what it is like to be a flame: furious but without weight, breeze sharpening into wind, a bright gust that will blind, flatten all of you--- yet tender, somewhere inside tender."

While reading, one pauses to reflect and notices the exquisite quality of the ivory paper floating words upon it, as diagonal sunlight lifts the soft variations of black letters. As one concludes "The End, with Mapquest," the poet's query, "How does a shadow shine?" becomes a consuming question.

In closing the black and white bound Sonata Mulattica, the velvet touch of the cover etches the black silhouette of a violinist into one's memory.

Should you have forgotten the definition of poetry and a poet, reread "A Defence of Poetry" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Then you will fully appreciate what a gift Rita Dove is and what a gift she has given to American literature.
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