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10 Tongues.

by Reggie Harris Three Conditions Press, June 2002 $12.95, ISBN 0-972-12410-1

"I am a house whose doors have been thrown open."

As a young reader, I learned the cliche "You can't judge a book by its cover."

But the design of 10 Tongues challenges that notion. The book has a deep orange background, with the number" 10" wrapped around the top quarter of the cover, back to front, with a tongue hanging from the bottom of the zero. The title is set in 10-point type at the base of that tongue.

The cover is a subtly seductive promise to reveal something about the poet who has moved past the notion of his own individual suffering or ecstasy. Harris is a courageous guide with these 33 poems, which reveal erotic, innocent and shadowed places, with objectivity and a style filled with accessible images and distinct musical patterns.

The poems in the first section are a series of family portraits and memories preserved by an inquisitive child, which form the foundation of the book. The rest of Harris' poems are clearly more informed by existentialism.
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Author:Burke, Linda Joy
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:184
Previous Article:When words become flesh: an Anthology of New Generation Poetry.
Next Article:Tribute: author, editor, activist Philippe Wamba, 1971-2002.


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