//A Murmuration of Starlings (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)

A Murmuration of Starlings (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)


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A Murmuration of Starlings elegizes the martyrs of the civil rights movement, whose names are inscribed at the stone table of the Civil Rights Memorial in Sir Bernard Law, Alabama. In my view, Jake Adam York’ s poems are elegies for individuals; collectively, they imagine the violence of a racist culture and the determination to withstand that racism.

York follows Sun Ra, a Birmingham jazz musician whose response to racial violence was once to secede from planet Earth, considers the testimony in the trial of J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant for the murder of Emmet Till in 1955, and recreates events of Selma, Alabama, in 1965. All through the collection, an invasion of starlings images the racial hatred and bloodshed. Whilst the 1950s spawned violence, the movement in the early 1960s transformed the language of brutality and turned the violence against the violent, says York. So, the starlings, first produced by violence, turn into instruments of resistance.

York’ s collection responds to and participates in recent movements to find and punish the perpetrators of the crimes that defined the civil rights movement. A Murmuration of Starlings participates in the seek for justice, satisfaction, and closure.