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Libretto For The Republic Of Liberia by Melvin B. Tolson. New York. 1970. Collier Books/Macmillan. paperback. 80 pages. 07090.  

 

collier libretto for the republic of liberia 07090FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Two hundred years after the Mayflower anchored off Plymouth Rock, the black Pilgrim Fathers sailed aboard the Elizabeth from America to West Africa in search of freedom. In this epic masterpiece Melvin Tolson celebrates the founding of the Republic of Liberia by expatriate American blacks in 1847. Although Tolson’s dramatic brilliance has invited comparison with Hart Crane’s classic, The Bridge, his Libretto stands alone as a work of depth, power, vision and originality: a major poetic statement of the ordeal and inspiration that drove the black Pilgrims back to Africa to create Liberia, ‘Black Lazarus risen from the white man’s grave.’ ‘.  there is a great gift for language. a profound historical sense and a first-rate intelligence at work in this poem from first to last.  For the first time, it seems to me, a Negro poet has assimilated completely the full poetic language of his time and, by implication, the language of the Anglo-American poetic tradition.  In the end I found that I was reading Libretto for the Republic of Liberia not because the poem has a Negro subject but because it is about the world of all men. And this subject is not merely asserted; it is embodied in a rich and complex language. and realized in terms of poetic imagination.’ —From the Preface by Allen Tate. ‘.  Tolson has established a new dimension for American poetry.’ - John Ciardi. ‘.  reaches extraordinary rhetorical heights.’ - San Francisco Chronicle.

 Tolson Melvin B

 

MELVIN B. TOLSON was born in Missouri and educated at Fisk, Lincoln and Columbia Universities. He was professor of creative literature at Langston University and the author of RENDEZVOUS WITH AMERICA and HARLEM GALLERY, published by Collier Books. He died in 1966.

 

 

 

 

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