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The Star-Spangled Banner

Paperback - 16 April 1999
Rp 332,000
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The Star-Spangled Banner, Denise Duhamel's sixth book of poems, is about falling in love, American-style, with someone who is not American.

In the title poem, a small American girl mishears the first line of The Star-Spangled Banner as José, can you see?, which leads her to imagine a foreign lover of an American woman dressed in a star-spangled gown. The misunderstandings caused by language recur throughout the book: contemplating what yes means in different cultures; watching Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite with a husband who grew up in the Philippines and never saw The Patty Duke Show; misreading another poet's title The Difference Between Pepsi and Coke as The Difference Between Pepsi and Pope and concluding that Pepsi is all for premarital sex. / The Pope won't stain your teeth. Misunderstandings also abound as characters mingle with others from different classes. In Cockroaches, a father-in-law refers to budget-minded American college students backpacking in Europe as cockroaches, not realizing his daughter-in-law was once, not so long ago, such a student/roach herself.

With welcome levity and refreshing irreverence, The Star-Spangled Banner addresses issues of ethnicity, class, and gender in America.

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