By Laurence A. Breiner
This advent to West Indian poetry is written for readers making their first method of the poetry of the Caribbean written in English. It bargains a finished literary historical past from the Nineteen Twenties to the Nineteen Eighties, with specific awareness to the connection of West Indian poetry to eu, African and American literature. shut readings of person poems supply precise research of social and cultural concerns at paintings within the writing. Laurence Breiner's exposition speaks powerfully in regards to the defining forces in Caribbean tradition from colonialism to resistance and decolonization.
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Extra info for An Introduction to West Indian Poetry
The peculiar nature of the audience for West Indian poetry was already under discussion, but awareness of the success of fiction, which depended heavily on a metropolitan readership, surely served as a catalyst for the assertion that West Indian poetry (in its direction as well as its assembled corpus) is distinctive and self-sufficient. " By a commonplace habit of thought, every West Indian island is regularly conceived as supporting two distinct societies: the so-called middle class, and everyone else.
Was there a literature? Was that literature distinctively "West Indian"? It is emblematic that ACLALS begins with the poet ranged against the novelists. During the 1960s the success of compatriots who had gone to England to write and publish set in high relief the uncertainty about a serious audience for poetry. Lamming, Wilson Harris, and Edgar Mittelholzer in particular, who went to England and abandoned poetry for fiction, stood as disheartening examples, drawing all too much attention to the hard fact that a writer's choice of genre had economic and societal implications.
From among the students came Emile Roumer's Poemes d'Haiti et de France, which combined classical forms with distinctively Haitian subjects and even Creole language. In his poem "Declaration paysanne," for example, a peasant compares his beloved to a series of such local dishes as crab in eggplant, but he speaks in unimpeachable alexandrines. By a nice irony, these alexandrines have themselves been set to the music of the Haitian meringue? and the irony cautions us to avoid facile antitheses here; in fact Morpeau included an introductory essay about poetry written in Creole ("La Muse haitienne d'expression Creole"), and Roumer was a contributor to his anthology.
An Introduction to West Indian Poetry by Laurence A. Breiner