Blood Dazzler - Patricia Smith

Blood Dazzler

By Patricia Smith

  • Release Date: 2013-11-18
  • Genre: Poetry


“These short, fiery verses describe with sorrow and passion the Crescent City just before, during and immediately after Katrina.” —Publishers Weekly
In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its “scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent,” to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.
Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:
The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
Look like this country done left us for dead.
“Smith’s poems are captivating and their heartrending subject matter adds to their allure. She is observant and precise; she captures a moment in our history that many will never forget, but also a moment that just as many will never begin to know. Blood Dazzler makes available to its readers a chilling time in America and crystallizes the nation’s fears and weaknesses.” —Coldfront