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Final Week: Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry Read-a-Long

For this last week, we read the final sections of the collection:Fury & Faith and Resolution.

Here are a few questions to get us started:

  1. In Fury & Faith, Gorman again takes the poetic form and upends it, placing it onto the stripes of the American flag. What are your thoughts on this use of poetic lines?
  2. Explore your reactions to the poems in this first of the last two sections. What are some of the things that stuck out to you?
  3. In the Resolution section, what do you think her main point is about resolution?

I’ll be monitoring the comments and replying throughout the weekend. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

Check out the previous discussions below:

Thank you to everyone who participated or just read along with us. I hope you enjoyed the book, and I’d love to hear what you thought overall.

Comments

  1. I thought these last sections and the first sections were the best. They felt less repetitive and less “here’s this definition, that is to say” than the other sections. I agree that the poems were more telling than showing, but I like that you can feel the passion behind them. It’ll be interesting to see how her poetry evolves over time. I thought ending with the inauguration poem helped end the collection on a high note.

    • It definitely ended the collection on a high note. I thought some sections prior to this were too long and repetitive. I thought she could have pared those down a bit.

  2. She gets to me with the epigraph to “Fury and Faith” from Othello, my favorite play–the lines are all so powerful. Maybe because that made me well-disposed to the next section, I actually like the form of America, written in the stripes of the flag. The poems in this section, even more than in the volume as a whole, run the risk of being too declarative, not very poetic in terms of using figurative language or images to make readers feel the truth of what’s being said–I think “Fury & Faith” is an example of this (and “Roses” is her declarative-ness at its worst), but America works for me because of the form, because of what’s being said by the background.
    I love the line “we were mouthless for months” and feel like it works on the background image of the mask. Love it that she thinks we’ve all trashed our masks already…I wish.
    It was interesting to see The Hill We Climb in this context.

    • The juxtaposition of the Flag poem and The Hill We Climb is very poignant. I liked that even though they weren’t next to each other. I do like the flag form and the words on that poem better than some of the other form poems.

      The other declarative poems came off a little too “telling” rather than “showing.” I wanted more poetic imagery, etc.

      The mask and dropping the masks was so odd to me as we haven’t really dropped those masks quite yet. At least we haven’t.

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