Kelley Blewster: Review of Water Flowing Home

In truth, Sherman Alexie's literary output can't be circumscribed by a label focusing on its racial themes. An elegant little chapbook of love poems titled Water Flowing Home (1996) by itself belies such a description:

but I have salmon blood from my mother and father and always ignore barriers and bridges, only follow this simple and genetic map that you have drawn in my interior, this map hat always leads back to that exact place where you are         (from "Exact Drums")

Accessible, lyrical, heartfelt, these are the kind of poems that do what poetry's meant to do: evoke and recall emotion rather than simply play with the language. No, Alexie covers much, much richer terrain than just race relations; but it would be nearly impossible for readers to come away from most of his works without feeling more self-conscious about the color of their skin. Poems such as "Exact Drums" offer a moment of grace amidst the gravity of much of his subject matter -- they are welcomed like the release of a pent-up breath.

From Kelley Blewster, "Tribal Visions." Biblio 4.3 (March 1999): 22.

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Criticism Overview
Title Kelley Blewster: Review of Water Flowing Home Type of Content Book Review
Criticism Author Kelley Blewster Criticism Target Sherman Alexie
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 13 Jan 2015
Publication Status No Data Publication Tribal Visions
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