The Tradition by Jericho Brown
“Let me be
Used and forgotten and left
To whatever narrow miseries I make for myself
Without anybody asking
What’s wrong? Concern for my soul offends me….”
― Jericho Brown, The Tradition
Summary: The Tradition is the third collection of poems by Jericho Brown, an American, Louisiana-born, prize-winning poet. This book of poems details the normalization of evil and its history. The variety of poems ranges from political to personal. Fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are all brought together to make you angry, confused, and self-reflect.
My thoughts: I am not typically a poetry reader, but I felt like I could manage this short collection. While I did enjoy it overall, some poems are a tough read. Politically, this collection is meant to make you angry. No matter where you stand on these topics, Brown is telling from his perspective, which is real and valid. I am not familiar with all of the life experiences detailed in these poems, however, I can respect them and learn from them nonetheless. I encourage all of us as readers to expand our horizons and appreciate works even if they make us uncomfortable.
*This is available as an eAudiobook on Sunflower eLibrary or through interlibrary loan.