Monday, July 25, 2011

The Syncopated Sonnet

Tyehimba Jess

I've long admired this Poet's work. I also must admit that I am disappointed with the syncopated sonnet. I've heard much buzz about these syncopated sonnets and was hoping to hear the voice of Tyehimba himself--less of historical portraiture. But the fact of his voice, and my voice--the darkling first person plural voice--is magnificently present and potent. A genius of linguistic dexterity and human understanding undergirds the construction of such form. There is a strange and estranging beauty to the very final moments of this video when the collective face of the audience is revealed--a swath of folk primarily light in complexion. And there, on the stage, Tyehimba stands reciting his multiply woven pygopagus monstrosity, mirroring the traveling performance of the sister(s). A wonderful tribute to the McKoy Sisters and a very important new work of invention--if a bit green-black in the voice. 

--Andrew E. Colarusso