Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review of "Hagar in the Wilderness" by Tyehimba Jess

"Hagar in the Wilderness" by Tyehimba Jess, a teacher at the College of Staten Island, was offered by's Poem-A-Day on December 26, 2013.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:

"Hagar in the Wilderness" is an ekphrastic poem after a marble statue (pictured) carved by Edmonia Lewis (1845 - 1907) in 1875.  Lewis was an African/Native American expatriate sculptor who lived and worked in Rome.  More information about Lewis may be found here:

There are two "gods" or "creators" in this poem.  There is God, who created the real-life Hagar and her destiny, and there is Lewis who created the marble statue of Hagar.  As an African/Native American expatriate, Lewis was in a certain sense an outcast just like the subject of her sculpture.

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