Come Back to ME My Language : Poetry and the West Indies
In the last fifty years a powerful and distinctive body of poetry has emerged in the West Indies. Unique in its combination of African sources and British colonial traditions, and still resonating with the curse of slavery, this poetry shares its roots with rap and reggae and has the same hold on the popular imagination. But it has also become part of the English literary heritage and has received international recognition with the work of Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna Goodison, and the 1992 Nobel laureate Derek Walcott."Come Back to Me My Language" is the first comprehensive study of this remarkable body of contemporary poetry. Writing with clarity and vigor, J. Edward Chamberlin discusses the work of more than thirty poets and performers and gives detailed analyses of the major ones. He provides historical and social background to the poetry and places it within the context of current literary criticism. Chamberlin shows how the poets, in rediscovering their language and the freedom to use it, have given their people a new way to see themselves and to look at others.
- Paperback | 336 pages
- 147.32 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
- 01 Jul 1993
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
"Eloquent... In Chamberlin's view, memory and historical suffering are inseparable from the aesthetic choices poets make. He brings his very substantial knowledge to the case." The Hudson Review "Has got to become required reading for all who would wish not only to understand the centrality of language, oral and scribal, to the exercise of the West Indian creative imagination but also to better grasp the seminal role of the literary imagination in the history and existential reality of an entire people still in the process of 'becoming'." Rex Nettleford, artistic director, National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica