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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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Different from what I expected, but utterly worthwhile! Sept. 6 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I suppose I didn't read enough into the description because I had a different understanding of what the book was. I expected more unpublished poetry from Ani (similar to the Italian publication). Instead, this is primarily a collection of her songs printed in poetic form -- which has a certain fluidity, tenor, and tone that sets them apart from their auditory existence. Only a few of the "verses" printed are new works that were not released as songs and this initially disappointed me (hence the 4-stars). However, the sense of familiarity is growing on me and I'm appreciating the chance to mull over her writing from another perspective. At first you can't help but hear the song as you read, but the deeper I got into Verses, the more I was able to imagine greater complexity of motivation and varying understandings for the pieces. Ani has so much of great significance to say and sometimes that doesn't impact the listener as deeply as it can the reader. Her pen is truly mighty and my admiration has only grown. Also, the artwork inside is beautiful and from what I can ascertain, Ani played a major role in the art design (ie, no separate illustration credit, just a three-person "Design" credit headed by Ani). All in all, is is clearly a must for any Ani fan or lover of poetry.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
if i had known it was just her lyrics.... Dec 18 2007
By Dann Dempsey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For a slim volume of verse, I kinda expected it to have only previously unprinted poems. There were a few, and those new ones were really enjoyable. Her other song lyrics were really enjoyable when I read them the first time, like 15 years ago, but I was disappointed to see that this small book was almost entirely recycled.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Different form, same brilliance... Dec 1 2007
By Jeff B. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked this up for my girlfriend's b-day and found myself reading a good chunk of it before I managed to pass it on... it's cool to see her words on paper and chew on them in a different form. Ani has a hell of a gift... definitely not light entertainment, she will make you think. If you're like me you'll find just a tiny dose of this very filling, but the girl devoured it all in one evening. Either way, get it!
America's best living poet and social revolutionist April 3 2011
By David Seaman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ani Difranco is still a young woman, despite her twenty-three albums, her half dozen DVD's her relentless touring sdchedule, cult following and being the CEO of Righteous Babe Records out of Buffalo, New York. Difranco, a graduate of the Buffalo Public schools magnet school for the arts, was a dance major who, during her junior year, picked up a guitar and began to play. No one plays a she does- between alternate tunings, fingers wrapped in duct tape and a way she has of transcending the label of musical styles, she began as folk, eased into Rock, then jazz and now-perhapos- is simply called alternative. she is arguably the finest guitar player alive today.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ani's poetry is Amazing. Oct. 17 2007
By A. January - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you like Ani Difranco, or if you just like great poetry, you will love this book. It is filled with the best poetry from her music career and some new verses that are definitely worth pondering. This is a beautiful book.