Gathering the Tribes (Yale Series of Younger Poets)
An examination of kinship and uprootedness, Gathering the Tribes is the first volume of poetry by Carolyn Forché and the 71st volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets
The poems in Gathering the Tribes recount experiences from the author’s adolescence and young‑adult life, closely bound to the natural cycles of the seasons, of generations, of the body’s functioning. Many deal with uprootedness—hasty emigrations from Czechoslovakia and Kiev, the loss of grandparents and other elders, people leaving and being sent away. But this poetry is not a sentimental celebration of the goodness of nature and harmony with the world is never something assumed. The harmony Forché seeks goes deeper than simple submission to natural processes or identification with an ethnic group, and it must be fought for with a tenuous faith. The balance that must be found between the ugliness, the harshness of her history—both natural and social—and its intense beauty, is what distinguishes Forché’s poetry and gives it its depth and dimension.
Praise for Gathering the Tribes (Yale Series of Younger Poets)
"Carolyn Forché's poems give an illusion of artlessness because they spring fromthe simplest and deepest human feelings, from an earthling's awareness of the systematic pulse of creation. The poems tell us she is at home any place under the stars, wherever there are fields or mountains, lakes or rivers, persons who stir her atavistic bond-sense."—Stanley Kunitz