Dante Micheaux writes musical poetry that lets you feel his emotions. Reading him is like going to a symphony were the orchestra plays every genre of music possible. His poems seem to cover every topic and issue and as we read him we sense his faith in humanity. His sensuality is evident and amazing and he treats a poem as if he were undressing as he moves from the words that are completely clad until he reaches the nudity and basic meaning of his own writing. There is not a wasted word, not a superfluous verse and everything that he puts down on paper has a meaning. Micheaux points his bow at the heart and when the arrow flies, it lands at that destination. He is nostalgic and his poetry is elegant, passionate, controlled and we sense the meaning of the word desire and see that its purpose can be twofold--as a destructive element and a state of total bliss. Each poem is totally different but with these differences we are allowed to see the mind of the poet as he covers diverse themes that span centuries. We enter the mind of the poet by entering his world and see his intimacy. Again, desire is the focus but it is sometimes in tandem with commitment and the poet gives us a majestic collection of beautiful poems. (Majestic is a word that I have never used in a review before but it is the perfect word here). Micheaux reaches out for our hands and takes us through history and we cannot help but notice the influence of others on his writing--Cavafy, Austen, Auden, Bionce, Nina and many others and what is so interesting it that the poet has created new friendships between people who probably otherwise never met, i.e, rap musicians and classical poets. There were the people from whom he learned and we are aware of just how much stayed with him. There is eroticism here and Micheaux is wonderful at seduction. He offers us his hand and we clearly see what he is doing as he brings us into his world, a world of sensuality and conceit (that is well earned), He lets us decide what is real in his poetry and what is imagery and we are left to reach the conclusion as to whether or not he is serious or playing with us. Micheaux has a very sharp mind and we do not have to decide anything more that his poetry is beautiful. Reading "Amorous Shepherd" is not just a collection of poems, it is a total experience.
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Amos Lassen (amoslassen)
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities. I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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"Dante Micheaux's poetry is always musical. He plays in a group with Cavafy, Lorca, Komunyakaa. His instrument is a clear exact voice with his heart beating so loud you can hear it. He has highs and lows that reach into something Greek, into jazz, into the blues, into metaphysical English poetry. He pulls all this off remaining wonderfully African-American." STANLEY MOSS" The passionate music woven through Dante Micheaux's Amorous Shepherd emanates out of a deep belief of human possibility and trust. Basic and highly sensual, this collection unfolds with a disrobing of body and soul. Each compressed, terse poem pops with shaped certainty. There isn't anything overly precious in these poems, but only a marvelous sonority and sincerity that go directly for the experienced heart. Yusef Komunyakaa. If the ecstatic runs through so much of Amorous Shepherd--that state of near-mystic ecstasy where vision seems independent of the flesh -- there is also something here of Cavafy's rueful nostalgia, the literal aching for home, and that home the body. In poems of controlled elegance, crossed with passion, Micheaux reminds us that desire may well destroy us, but it can also allow us to "heal the anguish in each other." Book of restlessness. Book of grace. Carl Phillips