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Sociology

Trotter Review

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Full-Text Articles in Poetry

Tough Eloquence, Yusef Komunyakaa Mar 1993

Tough Eloquence, Yusef Komunyakaa

Trotter Review

I began reading Etheridge Knight's poetry in the early 1970s, and what immediately caught my attention was his ability to balance an eloquence and toughness, exhibiting a complex man behind the words. His technique and content were one—the profane alongside the sacred—accomplished without disturbing the poem's tonal congruity and imagistic exactitude. Here was a streetwise poet who loved and revered language. Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, and Langston Hughes seem to have been his mentors, but Knight appeared to have sprung into the literary world almost fully formed. He had so much control and authority; he was ...