Minor Notes, Volume 1

We rated this book:


This is an extraordinary book since it features the poetry of enslaved people dating back to 1837. The poem “The Slave’s Complaint” is resonant with the suffering which was endured by them. It is more extraordinary since the ability to read was, for the most part, proscribed. The poem is stark and direct. The later poems in this first volume tend to be florid in imitation of the mode of poetry at that time. Despite that, authentic genius is at the heart of all the works contained therein.

The poem about Frederick Douglas expands to include the other torch-bearers for freedom. The poem “Black Woman” brings to the forefront the pain of birthing an innocent child into slavery. “Boston Tea” details how the ladies of the DAR are served by one who did not benefit from the American revolution. There are too many jewels to speak of all of them but “Resignation” succinctly profiles how helpless people were to build any kind of life with the little left to them. An essential book for one’s library.

Reviewed By:

Author Joshua Bennett, Jesse McCarthy, Tracy K Smith
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Penguin Publishing Group
Publish Date 11-Apr-2023
ISBN 9780143137269 Buy this Book
Issue August 2023
Category Classics