Wicked World: Poems of Philadelphia

This is Ernest Yates’s fifteenth volume of poems, and the twelfth volume in an ongoing series based on his wanderings through Philadelphia streets.

On its way south from midtown’s City Hall to the Navy Yard on the Delaware River, Philadelphia’s Broad Street bisects some of South Philly’s most iconic neighborhoods―the arts district, commercial centers, bedroom communities, city parks, giant sports facilities.

On an imagined promenade with his wife down this thoroughfare, Yates remakes the sights and sounds of the city, turning them into “plausible fabrications” essential to his dream of home. In this dream the problems of the artist dovetail with the dilemmas that every society faces: how to reconcile the particular, unique, and individual with the general, comprehensive, and inclusive. By its very nature, Yates’s artistic vision engages history and the nation, resulting in a recognizable portrait of society in its most characteristic state of upheaval.

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