Converse View, Distorted World: Influences And Poetry
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Converse View, Distorted World: Influences and Poetry is a collection of poetry that focuses on themes of culture, transformation, self-understanding, and distorted relationships. The poems respond to issues of contemporary life experienced in nearly every urban Mecca throughout the United States. An introductory essay examines the work of poet Florence Anthony, known as Ai and suggests the ways Ai's oeuvre is a model for the present writer's poetic mission. The essay reviews Ai's critical reception, discusses her background and influences, outlines her approach to writing poetry, and draws similarities between Ai's work and that of the present writer. For nearly forty years, acclaimed author Ai has avowed her vision of humanity through her examination of taboo and unsettling subject matter. Drawing from her multicultural heritage and discarding racial/gender labels, Ai has constructed dramatic, personal, and direct poems that investigate human nature, good and evil, and the nature of transformation. She explores the world through the eyes of victims and victimizers. Ai often speaks for those whose lives are invisible or diminished. Using first person narratives of fictional characters, she draws our attention to the everyday and extraordinary acts of violence that punctuate our lives. Her exploration of such topics allows the reader to see how violence and corrupted desires affects human interaction and societal development. Like the works of Ai, the present writer's poetry tackles troublesome subject matter, and aims to provoke readers to re-examine their judgments, behavior, and values. The poetry in Converse View, Distorted World is divided into three chapters. The chapter titles, like the title of the project itself, reflect this author's efforts to portray the twisted, confusing, and brutal aspects of modern living.