The Sobbing School

The Sobbing School Selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series The Sobbing School Joshua Bennett s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry presents songs for the living and the dead that destabi

  • Title: The Sobbing School
  • Author: Joshua Bennett Eugene Gloria
  • ISBN: 9780143111863
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Paperback
  • Selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series The Sobbing School, Joshua Bennett s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority, where theSelected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series The Sobbing School, Joshua Bennett s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority, where there is said to be none Figures as widely divergent as Bobby Brown, Martin Heidegger, and the 19th century performance artist Henry Box Brown, as well as Bennett s own family and childhood best friends, appear and are placed in conversation in order to show that there is always a world beyond what we are socialized to see value in, always alternative ways of thinking about relation that explode easy binaries.

    One thought on “The Sobbing School”

    1. The title of The Sobbing School refers to a quote from Zora Neale Hurston, who claimed she didn't spend her time weeping at the injustices of the world, because, she said, she was "too busy sharpening my oyster knife." Born in Yonkers, a Princeton PhD and current Harvard fellow, Joshua Bennett brings both a sharp intellect (the oyster knife) and a strong emotional resonance (the sobbing, if you will) to this stunning collection. While some of these pieces are on the experimental side, including [...]

    2. THE SOBBING SCHOOL Written by Joshua BennettRating: 4 Stars(Review Not on Blog)This collection of poetry had me savoring the words and emotions. The writing reminds me of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. I picked up this collection on a whim, and as it was a short book I figured, what the heck. I love when you discover a little treasure.

    3. The Sobbing School by Joshua Bennett is the poet’s debut collection of poetry in which he finds himself often meandering between self-reflective days of his youth to confronting the realities of the modern day climate. Within the work itself, Bennett is never conventional and stable for too long as he often takes it upon himself to play with form and structure. The margins are fully explored to function and serve the feelings and emotions that he is attempting to convey. In addition to this ob [...]

    4. This slim volume packs the power of Audre Lorde's analytical poetry. Through the genre, Bennett creates a collection of poems that together can be read as a memoir, but in isolation relate fragmented aspects of black identity within the 21st century. The Sobbing School is deep, moving, and contains multitudes.

    5. Joshua Bennett is a very intelligent and witty poet. His observations and metaphors are arresting and spot on. His perspective and the subject of many of these poems make him extremely relevant. I recognize the intelligence of these poems.But these are the kind of poems that make you say, “Hmmmm.” These are poems that send you to Google to conduct research that somehow spirals out of control. These are not bad things, but I personally prefer poems that make me look inside myself, poems that [...]

    6. I love the style of this collection. I like the variation in forms - some a mere footnote of a poem and others written in the form of an abstract, complete with keywords and theory. I don't often read poetry, simply from a lack of exposure I think, but I really enjoyed this

    7. For a poet to be able to ruminate on serious subjects like grief, racism, and police brutality from a personal perspective while maintaining a vein of humor is quite a feat, but Joshua Bennett does it with ease. His collection THE SOBBING SCHOOL is an act of empathy, love, and unflinching reality. One of the most heartbreaking poems is called "Black History, Abridged" - "When I was four, an elderly white woman bought my elementary school while I was still going to school inside of it. Tore the b [...]

    8. This is a poet who makes a poem from a footnote, who makes a poem from an abstract (with exceptional academic sarcasm that had me hooked), who starts out a book in whatever margin he wants and outside of it, who converses with and enters forgotten histories and reclaims them, who writes:“Before pen or pot handleunlearned you the splendor of blood,I taught bully’s breath to bow” (Clench)The title alone demands deep consideration: “The Sobbing School,” as in the oyster knife sharpening a [...]

    9. I went back and forth on my opinions of this first collection. Where the text is more colloquial I find it to be most powerful because the writer clearly has a theoretical background and is able to endow everyday scenarios with complex ideas and context. However, I found some pieces in the collection losing their hold or sway when this intellectualism felt obtuse or forced into the poems. I am interested to see what else is out there by this writer and would actually be very interested in imagin [...]

    10. I became a fan of Josh's after viewing the Brave New Voices documentary of 2008. With this first published collection, Bennett's voice has certainly matured, but many of his core motifs remain the same. He places high emphasis on calling attention to issues of race, violence, police brutality, and family dynamics. Being someone who works with teens and reads/views a lot of spoken word, I found myself missing the hip hop dynamic of Bennett's earlier work. This collection presents a more somber, r [...]

    11. Bennett is a poet I'm going to watch closely. His poems embody grief without pathos, and sly humor without silliness. (Well, perhaps occasional healthy silliness.) These 73 pages reveal much about his life and the lives of others he has loved, along with political outrage at police brutality and nostalgic reminiscences. He does this with all the technical skills of a modern poet, balancing an impressively broad scope with a very personal, even cozy vision. This comes out to a book you could read [...]

    12. Some of the poems don't have their flow. The collection is uneven. But the clarity of voice is exceptional. I look forward to reading it again.Run, Fade, Fly, Fresh and Clench should be their own little collection. I loved them as a unit.Also thought that Teacher's Aide and In Defense of Henry Box Brown were brilliant and are probably both poems that I will think back to for months to come.

    13. So glad I picked this up at the library. A reminder that poetry is a kind of magic and that this life is horrific at times. A haunting blend of both beauty and agony.

    14. These poems are original, varied, and perplexing. I enjoyed reading them and also the interesting cover image on the book. Often when I read a book of poetry I find one or two poems that especially speak to me for one reason or another. It might be because it expresses an experience I have had; or because it's a beautiful unique manner of saying something worthwhile; or because I find it inspiring and useful in stimulating some writing of my own. Finding that one poem that stands out for me, oft [...]

    15. Poetry is a gift. It reveals the poets perspective on their world. It can be difficult to relate to a world you have not lived in. Joshua Bennett reveals his world, his perspective. As an older white man I have not lived his life. But Mr Bennett has privileged me with a glimpse into his world. Each poem took multiple readings to come to a partial understanding of these odes to life, death, and the commonality we all face. There is meaning to his experience that I have not and cannot live. But hi [...]

    16. Anthropophobia“Before people question why the contact was made in the first place, they should understand that Myers was no angel This is not a victim, this is a victim-maker. This is not a martyr.” — Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis police unionThe steel blue ghost standingat the podium says VonDerrit Myerswas no angel & all I can hear isthe boy was a human boy. The boyhad a best friend & 206 bones. The boyhad a name that God didn’t give him.When he died, he did no [...]

    17. "our speaker thinking for the first time in weeks that he might not be dead in every meaningful sense of the term, that he has in fact never felt so full, never felt this much like the sea unbuckling its mouth that all those old drowned saints might walk."I want to say that this book of poems captures all that has been welling up in me over the last few years. That it navigates black pain effortlessly. That my ability to get lost in his prose is the respite that I need from this world. I want to [...]

    18. I need time to reflect on poetry. There were a few lines that jumped out at me, but not poems that did that.

    19. Joshua Bennett has always been one of my favourite spoken word poets. I always gravitated to how he could be both complex and simple within the same piece (eg Balaenoptera, Plankton), so i eagerly awaited a chance to get a hold of his first collection.I was not disappointed.From the very beginning, I walked into a world of florid imagery and vocabulary that served to completely immerse me in the mind of Mr. Bennett.

    20. Wow this was crazy good. Like, every single poem left me speechless and wanting to dog-ear the page good. I read it all in one day and I felt like it snowballed poem after poem like a punch to heart. Amazing.

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