Synopses & Reviews
New work by the co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement.
"Omnivorously synthetic, insistently local, sinuously syncopated and consistently exciting, Brathwaite's 'nation language' has placed him among the most admired writers of the English-speaking Caribbean. This 22nd book of verse shows off his explosive range of technical innovations in stanza form, dialect, even layout and typography in seven adventurous medium-length works. One sequence describes coastlines and islands as seen from the air. Another adopts the voice of a girl who may be a slave remembering the Middle Passage or a modern youth encountering its ghosts: 'my mother say i be alone/ and when i cry,' she muses, 'i be Columbus of my ships/ and sail the garden round the tears that fall into my hand.' Other sequences focus on generational succession and on hopeful, endangered or murdered children, invoking the Jamaican ritual called kumina, the myth of Osiris, the biblical binding of Isaac and the lives of Brathwaite's own extended family. Though critics admire and writers imitate him all over the globe, the Barbadian poet (who teaches at New York University) has never developed a broad U.S. readership: this complicated but accessible volume gives him his best chance in years to do just that." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A series of poetic meditations on islands and exile, language and ritual, and the force of personal and historical passions and griefs.A series of poetic meditations on islands and exile, language and ritual, and the force of personal and historical passions and griefs.
Kamau Brathwaite's newest work, Born to Slow Horses, is a series of poetic meditations on islands and exile, language and ritual, and the force of personal and historical passions and griefs. These poems are haunted, figuratively and literally, by spirits of the African diaspora and drenched in the colors, sounds, and rhythms of the islands. But they also encompass the world of the exile and return, and the events of 9/11 in New York City. Brathwaite is one of the foremost voices in postcolonial inquiry and expression, and his poetry is densely rooted and expansive.
Using his unusual sycorax signature typography and spelling, Brathwaite brings a cultural specificity, with distinct accents, sonic gestures, and pronunciations, into his pages--making them new, exciting, and rich in nuances.