mahogany by Erica Lewis
Wesleyan University Press, September 2023
mahogany takes its name from the dark wood prized for its durability, workability, and elegant look, and from the Diana Ross movie, whose theme song asks if what lies ahead is what you really want. This book is the third in a trilogy, and like the first two books, it is steeped in pop music. Each poem here takes its title from a line of a Diana Ross and The Supremes song, as well as songs from Diana Ross’ solo career. Short lines flow down the page like postmodern psalms, connecting dailyness to timelessness, merging the historical and the beloved through reverence for family, music, and the life we actually live. mahogany is a lament for the passing of time and unimaginable loss, and at the same time, it models the daily search for joy and the deep shine that can arise from the darkest times.
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