Sonata Mulattica: Poems

Sonata Mulattica: Poems

W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
240 pages
6.3 × 9.3 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-393-07008-8

Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English
University of Virginia

In a book-length lyric narrative inspired by history and imagination, a much celebrated poet re-creates the life of a nineteenth-century virtuoso violinist.

The son of a white woman and an “African Prince,” George Polgreen Bridgetower (1780–1860) travels to Vienna to meet “bad-boy” genius Ludwig van Beethoven.  The great composer’s subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young mulatto but George, exuberant with acclaim, offends Beethoven over a woman. From this crucial encounter evolves a grandiose yet melancholy poetic tale.

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