Publishers Weekly, 2005-06-27 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. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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