Lighthead Quotes

Terrance Hayes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lighthead.
This section contains 988 words
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Not what you see, but what you perceive:/that’s poetry. Not the noise, but its rhythm; an arrangement/of derangements; I’ll eat you to live: that’s poetry.
-- Lighthead (Last Train to Africa)

Importance: These lines from the introductory piece of the collection, which acts as a sort of ars poetica for Hayes, proposes several different and surprising definitions of poetry, thus equipping the reader with tools by which to frame and interpret the poems to follow. It also establishes recurring concepts of the book, such as language as music, the difficulty of accurate expression, and the pervasiveness of hunger.

Da promised to leave me everything: the shovel we/used to bury the dog, the words he loved to sing,/his rusted pistol, his squeaky Bible, his sin.”
-- The Speaker (Last Train to Africa)

Importance: These lines encapsulate one of the concepts at the heart of this poem, as well as a recurring theme throughout the book, that poverty and strife...

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This section contains 988 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lighthead Study Guide
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