Foregrounding the possibilities of human song
An exuberant collection of two decades of Major Jackson’s passionately intelligent poetry.
A preeminent voice in contemporary literature, Major Jackson offers steady miracles of vision and celebrations of language in rapturous, sophisticated poems. With selections from five acclaimed volumes—including his Cave Canem Poetry Prize–winning debut, Leaving Saturn (2002); the NAACP Image Award finalist Hoops (2006); and his vulnerable, philosophical latest, The Absurd Man (2020)—along with three dozen new poems, Razzle Dazzle traces the evolution of Jackson’s transformative imagination and fierce music. Whether addressing racial conflict and the ongoing struggle for human dignity in America, bearing witness to the plight of refugees, or grieving the contradictory nature of humankind, these dexterous poems proclaim the remarkable power of renewal, justice, and accountability.
From “The Ocean You Answer To”
Unseen, many marveled in the comfort of their tiny utopias.
But you stood like music with your breath outstretched
waiting for eternity to enter your arms.