Blood in the Hourglass. Victor Vacarno Dove.
Blood in the Hourglass
Blood in the Hourglass

Blood in the Hourglass

Cherry Valley, NY: Cherry Valley Editions, 1984. First Printing. Stapled Wrappers. “Victor Dove permits a fresh look into Black lifestyles,” legendary outlaw poet, raconteur, and publisher Charles Plymell of Cherry Valley Editions writes in his concise yet inviting introduction to this 1984 work by the underground poet Victor Vacarno Dove. Plymell continues: “He [Dove] says what we can’t, as did Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks, that is, those of us who’ve seen some of his images of wisdom, comedy, and sadness while driving through Black neighborhoods…The anger is there too, but he blames himself as well as his environment; anyone who’s felt oppression can join him in laughter, sorrow and song. We are invited into life, circumstances, family affairs; we go with him to picnics, dances and become embarrassed at the teaser “shakin’ her fanny / bein’ whistled at / ‘til her heel breaks.” To laugh at himself in the middle of oppression and anger invites the reader into his upbeat and “I can” tone. This is a welcome change from the “I cannot” helpless tone of the “esteemed” poetry that fills academe.” (Abridged Quote from Introduction). In the light of Plymell’s noteworthy introduction, this overlooked booklet of poetry from Cherry Valley Editions now leaps off the shelf with renewed relevance, echoing as it does the hot-button topics presently saturating the airwaves in contemporary America. Plymell’s prescient editorial sensibility, his poet’s eye-&-ear for language combine once again, resulting in another strong showing from his celebrated imprint, Cherry Valley Editions. Almost nothing is known about Victor Dove; Plymell’s introduction is the only source of writing we have seen that mentions him. One would venture to say that he must have published work in the underground literary journals of the day to be brought to Plymell’s attention, but not much has turned up on this front. Biographical details are equally scant, making this (then-) young black poet all the more intriguing. Dove’s sense of irony, of comedy, of straight-backed optimism in the face of it all provides—as Plymell points out—a “welcome change” when compared to much of the work native to this fiery quadrant of American Letters. Book in very fine condition, virtually as new with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges. Very Fine. [Item #4302]

Price: $30.00