Ani DiFranco: Verses Hardcover – Sep 4 2007
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About the Author
In 1990 at the age of eighteen, ANI DIFRANCO rewrote the rules of the record industry when she created her own label Righteous Babe Records as an alternative to beckoning corporate offices. Since then, RBR has released twenty-one full-length DiFranco albums to critical acclaim, and is now home to over a dozen cutting-edge new artists. DiFranco was named one of the top 25 most influential artists of the past 25 years by CMJ New Music Monthly (alongside Nirvana and U2) and one of the 21 feminists for the 21st century by Ms. Magazine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book of poetry is on a level that we haven't seen since Gary Snyder. She has the rhyming skill of Sondheim, the honesty of Paul Simon, the purity of Robert Frost and the emotional tugging of Syvia Plath. On top of it, she has stremgth: an inner power that causes her five foot, one hundred pound frame to become a giant.
DiFranco's poetry (and even that which began as lyric stands beautifully as poetry-not all lyrics can do this) is about everything in American life: she speaks openly and frankly about anything, she flips off the greedy corporate America, she points out the political injustice, the pain of abortion, the lunacy of murder and captures emotions and situations that we've all felt and lived through but no one has yet to put into words. (Google "School Night")At the same time that Eminiem endured the scruitiny of Homeland Security, DiFranco was writing and performing about the whiskey that ran down the thorats of two tall giraffes standing in lower Manhattan, who strutted along for centruies without saying "thank you" or "please."
Homeland Security didn't dare.
Okay, you may get offended. That's the risk we take in a country with our first ammendment. But if a poem should cause you to want to wave your NRA card and curse, you'll turn the page to be soothed by something that does connect to you.
DiFranco, in her early thirties now, is taught in high schools, middle schools and on college campuses, where her concerts sell out imstantly. A spokesperson at Righteous Babe Records in Buffalo says that it's not just a great job, it's the feeling that she'sw making a difference in the world.To teach her material is not just about musical style, poetry mathematics but largely higher level thinking- that all important part of education that standardized testing fails to measure.
In the 1960's musicians led the Cultural Revolution: Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake, Carole king, Bob Dylan, the dozens who died, all inspired the younger generation to change the way our government viewed the constitution. DiFranco is doing it again and others will follow. This book is a must- even for those who don't fancy themselves as "poetry lovers". Lord knows, it is time for us to re-read our Constitution.
"They were building a new foundation in Manhattan
and discovered a slave cemetery there
May their souls rest easy now that lynching is frowned upon
We've moved on to the electric chair"
DiFranco is a woman to be admired and should she ever decide to add politicsd to her huge lists of contributions to American Society, she has my vote no matter what she does.
Buy a few copies of this book. One for the bedeside, the bathroom and a few to give as gifts.
Some of these poems are ones that were made into song (Self-Evident, Coming Up, As Is, to name a few), so an Ani fan will recognize them. However, some of these poems are ones that I haven't found in song form that you can only read when you purchase this book. If you're an Ani fan you'll love the familiarity and also get excited about unreleased works. If you're new to Ani DiFranco, know that a lot of the poems you enjoy in this book have a song accompaniment that you can enjoy as well.
The book also features some of Ani's art, which is often related to the poem its placed next to. (In Not So Soft there's a line "I look up, it looks like the buildings are burning, but it's just the sun setting, the solar system calling an end to another business day" and the painting next to it is the image of the buildings "burning.") There's also some wacky drawings (such as aliens in a bathtub), and you'll find yourself liking the art work as much as the poetry.
This is a great book because of the different mediums of talent Ani possesses. Poetry, music, art. This book has everything. If you like poetry at all, get this book. The content of the poetry is a unique combination of politics, self-evidence, feminism, and love, and I've never read anything like it. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.
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