My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I read the biography on Harper, I wasn’t looking forward to reading her works. Generally, whenever someone says that her works came from oral tradition, I do not like them. They never have the impact that they should have. Hearing the words and seeing the bard or storyteller tell me the story is always the best way to go about it. I gave them a chance though. And was I surprised.
Harper’s poems were great. I particularly loved her poem “The Slave Mother.” As I read each stanza, I was filled with her emotions. The rhyming quadruplets, if that’s what they are called, kept me on the edge of me seat thirsting for more. I actually understood everything said in the poems, and that is a feat in itself! I felt bad that her child was stolen from her, and she could do nothing to stop it. Her other poems were good too, but not as good as the first. Her short stories didn’t have a real impact on me, except for the last one we read, entitled “The Two Offers.”
This last story had an odd impact on me. I liked the plot idea – a woman, girl, in love with two men, or at least, she must choose between two men that she cares about. It got a little confusing in the middle. I wasn’t sure at first who was the woman with a dying mother and a sibling and a dead father, etc. I understood the story in the end, but I didn’t really care for the way it went. I would have preferred if the story said she chose one man, but lusted after the other in the years to come. I would have changed the ending myself, but that isn’t my choice. I’m not the author.
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