Voyage of the Sable Venus: From Art to Identity | A Review by Vanesa Pacheco

Come check out my poetry review of Robin Coste Lewis’s Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems on The Fem! Afterwards, read Noel Duan’s review on Dietland too!

THE FEM

The World wants to know
What I am made of. I am trying
To find a way
To answer Her.

-from “On the Road to Sri Bhunvaneshwari,” Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems

To read these poems, you confront realities of past and present. There are no lip trills or fancy six-syllable words to confuse the brain and muddle the imagery. Instead, there is raw and honesty in metaphor with touches of honey to help you swallow. We are trekked back in time to individual moments and left alone to digest on how powerful words are on perception and identity.

Robin Coste Lewis, in The Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems, questions where ideas, stereotypes, and concepts about the black female figure begin. To do so, Lewis creates a narrative poem using only the words titling or describing Western art that feature black women. Additionally…

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