Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review of "Because it looked hotter that way" by Camille Dungy

"Because it looked hotter that way" by Camille Dungy was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on January 14, 2014.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:


Camille Dungy (b. 1972) is a professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.  She is the author of three collections of poetry.  Additional biographical information may be found here:


The poet reveals in her notes that "Because" is a "Golden Shovel," an acrostic form popularized by Terrance Hayes, which uses each word of another poem as the last word of each line.  Dungy uses "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks to form her acrostic.  A link to this poem may be found here:


Biographical information about Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 - 2000) (pictured), the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize, may be found here:


As a fellow poet, my hat comes off to Ms. Dungy for her success with this restrictive acrostic form.  Writing a good acrostic where the first word in each line counts is difficult enough.  Creating one where the last word of each line forms the acrostic is at least an order of magnitude more difficult.  It is always easy to see where one begins, but where one will eventually end is not as easy to see.

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