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Rumba Atop the Stones

Written by Gary Soto for Ploughshares, Vol. 27, No. 4 on no date provided

There is lush music to Menes’s first book, and this lushness may arise from his subject, namely the Caribbean islands, particularly Cuba, his parents’ homeland. He writes of its populace - the dock worker, the sugar cane worker, the worker slaving at all trades - and the loveliness of the island’s ecosystems, along with its religions. These are bewitching poems with beguiling vocabulary - kanawa, Wewee, Ochún, mayito, iyá, Yobu. In these words alone, we have the mystery of poetry.

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