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By Laurence A. Breiner

This creation 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 consciousness to the connection of West Indian poetry to ecu, African and American literature. shut readings of person poems provide designated research of social and cultural concerns at paintings within the writing. Laurence Breiner's exposition speaks powerfully concerning the defining forces in Caribbean tradition from colonialism to resistance and decolonization.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to West Indian Poetry

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There is in fact no "general audience" in the West Indies, but argument on this point had led to considerable discussion of the nature of the local audience, and of the writer's possible relation to it. For that reason it is significant that the writers who urge this objective for the most part tend to be poets or dramatists rather than novelists, and tend to be residents rather than exiles. On both of these counts they are closer to the audience Brathwaite West Indian poetry and its audience aspired to reach, and can be expected to argue in the light of direct experience of the obstacles encountered in addressing it.

They don't want to hear about French or even Latin culture . . [Haiti] should therefore set itself the ideal of becoming in The Caribbean neighborhood 35 the middle of America a small Dahomean island, with a Bantu culture and a Congolese religion to entertain Yankee tourists . . 19 To some extent historical conditions are speaking here. In 1941 nationalism was discredited and isolation dangerous.

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.

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