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The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott    by Jill Scott order for
The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours
by Jill Scott
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2008 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though Jill Scott is a singer and performer, this book of her poetry is my first exposure to her art. The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours reads rather like lyrical biographical excerpts, tell-it-like-it-is honest and vulnerable. I enjoyed the author's introduction (dedicated to the eighth-grade teacher who inspired her) almost as much as her verses. I particularly liked her articulation of her passion for poetry and the community of poets: 'We were Poets. Igniting minds, shaping pictures, calling out, sometimes begging, praising, and admonishing.'

Scott divides her poems into five sections: All the Evil and All the Love; Haiku; I Be Thinking; Us Sistahs Sometimes; and Poetry 4 Poets and Folks Who Would Like to Be. Here's one from the first section where Scott talks about a friend's downfall after meeting 'Handome brotha / Brown, tall, regal / Sexy brotha / Smelling good like hot sex on Sunday after church / Soooo wrong but soooo right'. I smiled at Radio Blues which begins, 'Do me / Screw me / Tease me / Please me', and concludes, 'Oh God, where are the love songs?'

In My Life, Scott tells us: 'I am an artist. I cannot help it. I do not read music. Don't know how. I just wait for the music to move me, adjust my thinking, shape my voice. I sing my life. I live in music.' But pick your own favorites from The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours, Jill Scott's sensual celebration of life, love, art and passion. Her Haiku #I reads like a succinct bio: 'It was a loud cry / When I was brought to this world / Been loud ever since'. I hope she continues to express herself loudly enough to be heard by a large audience.

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