- Title: What the Body Told
- Author: Rafael Campo
- ISBN: 9780822317425
- Page: 415
- Format: Paperback
What the Body Told is the second book of poetry from Rafael Campo, a practicing physician, a gay Cuban American, and winner of the National Poetry Series 1993 Open Competition Exploring the themes begun in his first book, The Other Man Was Me, Campo extends the search for identity into new realms of fantasy and physicality He travels inwardly to the most intimate spacesWhat the Body Told is the second book of poetry from Rafael Campo, a practicing physician, a gay Cuban American, and winner of the National Poetry Series 1993 Open Competition Exploring the themes begun in his first book, The Other Man Was Me, Campo extends the search for identity into new realms of fantasy and physicality He travels inwardly to the most intimate spaces of the imagination where sexuality and gender collide and where life crosses into death Whether facing a frenetic hospital emergency room to assess a patient critically ill with AIDS, or breathing in the quiet of his mother s closet, Campo proposes with these poems an alternative means of healing and exposes the extent to which words themselves may be the most vital working parts of our bodies The secret truths in What the Body Told, as the title implies, are already within each of us in these vivid and provocative poems, Rafael Campo gives them a voice.Lost in the Hospital It s not that I don t like the hospital.Those small bouquets of flowers, pert and brave.The smell of antiseptic cleansers.The ill, so wistful in their rooms, so true.My friend, the one who s dying, took me outTo where the patients go to smoke, IV sAnd oxygen tanks attached to them A tiny patio for skeletons We sharedA cigaratte, which was delicious butToo brief I held his hand it feltLike someone s keys How beautiful it was,The sunlight pointing down at us, as ifWe were important, full of life, unbound.I wandered for a moment where his ribsHad made a space for me, and there, besideThe thundering waterfall of is heart,I rubbed my eyes and thought I m lost.
Recent Comments "What the Body Told"
The poems in this collection can be divided into two categories. The first, recalling Beat Poetry but composed to a careful meter, weave issues of LGBT identity and explicit depictions of sex in post-AIDS America with an almost religious concern for finding in these experiences spirituality and invincibility. I felt that the author's voice was drowned in the echo of the poets preceeding him. It seems impossible not to compare these poems to Ginsberg's, and while technically strong, they lack bot [...]
ten patients and anotheroh my god. the merging of medical history and sonnet?! another high school syllabus turned actual real-life-friend & mentor. love it. the aforementioned 'ten patients' section reads like hypnotic addictive tormenting and gruesome and lovely poetry versions of House!!! sorry, i don't use tv comparisons lightly
Campo takes a while to love and understand; I would sit with one poem for an hour and it still wouldn't have sunk in. The thing is, it isn't frustrating. It's illuminating and gorgeous, and stronger than vodka. An incredible poet.
Very good poetry
Absolutely breathtaking. Campo's poetry is a handful, but well worth the read. My absolute favorite poem is "For You All Beauty", it brings me to tears.
“Now a gay physician has added his story to the narrative of medicine: Rafael Campo’s work queers medicine, violates all boundaries, and opens up the physician and his audience to medicine’s possibilities, its shortcomings, and its poetry.”--Chris Freeman, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
I enjoyed some of the poetry in this book, but I didn't read it all.
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