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MiddlePassages: Poetry

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Middle Passages is an offshoot of the author's second trilogy, 'a splice of time & space', as he puts it, between his/father's world of Sun Poem and 'the magical irrealism' of X/Self. With his other 'shorter' collections Black + Blues and Third World Poems, Middle Passages creates a kind of chisel which may well lead us into a projected third trilogy. Here is a political a Middle Passages is an offshoot of the author's second trilogy, 'a splice of time & space', as he puts it, between his/father's world of Sun Poem and 'the magical irrealism' of X/Self. With his other 'shorter' collections Black + Blues and Third World Poems, Middle Passages creates a kind of chisel which may well lead us into a projected third trilogy. Here is a political angle to Brathwaite's Caribbean & New World quest, with new notes of protest and lament. It marks a Sisyphean stage of Third World history in which things fall apart and everyone's achievements come tumbling back down upon their heads and into their hearts, like the great stone which King Sisyphus was condemned to keep heaving back up the same hill in hell - a postmodernist implosion already signalled by Baldwin, Patterson, Soyinka and Achebe and more negatively by V.S. Naipaul; but given a new dimension here by Brathwaite's rhythmical and 'video' affirmations. And so Middle Passages includes poems for those modern heroes who are the pegs by which the mountain must be climbed again: Maroon resistance, the poets Nicolas Guillen, the Cuban revolutionary, and Mikey Smith, stoned to death on Stony Hill; the great musicians (Ellington, Bessie Smith); and Third World leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Walter Rodney and Nelson Mandela.


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Middle Passages is an offshoot of the author's second trilogy, 'a splice of time & space', as he puts it, between his/father's world of Sun Poem and 'the magical irrealism' of X/Self. With his other 'shorter' collections Black + Blues and Third World Poems, Middle Passages creates a kind of chisel which may well lead us into a projected third trilogy. Here is a political a Middle Passages is an offshoot of the author's second trilogy, 'a splice of time & space', as he puts it, between his/father's world of Sun Poem and 'the magical irrealism' of X/Self. With his other 'shorter' collections Black + Blues and Third World Poems, Middle Passages creates a kind of chisel which may well lead us into a projected third trilogy. Here is a political angle to Brathwaite's Caribbean & New World quest, with new notes of protest and lament. It marks a Sisyphean stage of Third World history in which things fall apart and everyone's achievements come tumbling back down upon their heads and into their hearts, like the great stone which King Sisyphus was condemned to keep heaving back up the same hill in hell - a postmodernist implosion already signalled by Baldwin, Patterson, Soyinka and Achebe and more negatively by V.S. Naipaul; but given a new dimension here by Brathwaite's rhythmical and 'video' affirmations. And so Middle Passages includes poems for those modern heroes who are the pegs by which the mountain must be climbed again: Maroon resistance, the poets Nicolas Guillen, the Cuban revolutionary, and Mikey Smith, stoned to death on Stony Hill; the great musicians (Ellington, Bessie Smith); and Third World leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Walter Rodney and Nelson Mandela.

30 review for MiddlePassages: Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Interesting and pleasent. I was particularly intrigued by the way the narraror talked.

  2. 4 out of 5

    J. A.

    A rhythmic, entrancing, inciting set of poems. Meaty and meaningful and come out with their fists swinging.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matthew DeCostanza

    Just as Allen Ginsberg is the child of Whitman and Blake, so Brathewaite is the child of Cummings and Achebe. I appreciate the Cummings-like grammatical liberties, and Brathewaite has written some rather genius lines ("You're nothing. You came from nobody. Third class servant class got-no-class underclass"), but I, having read so much American poetry, can only read about the jazz greats and civil rights and Mother Africa so many times before I get bored. Sorry. Just as Allen Ginsberg is the child of Whitman and Blake, so Brathewaite is the child of Cummings and Achebe. I appreciate the Cummings-like grammatical liberties, and Brathewaite has written some rather genius lines ("You're nothing. You came from nobody. Third class servant class got-no-class underclass"), but I, having read so much American poetry, can only read about the jazz greats and civil rights and Mother Africa so many times before I get bored. Sorry.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gwyneth Davidson

    This book of poetry shows the author's thoughts on social matters in the West Indies from the 1960s to 1980s. The material is sometimes personal, but many times it is an overview of the prevailing conditions in the countries, especially in Jamaica. This book of poetry shows the author's thoughts on social matters in the West Indies from the 1960s to 1980s. The material is sometimes personal, but many times it is an overview of the prevailing conditions in the countries, especially in Jamaica.

  5. 5 out of 5

    katie

    Incredible

  6. 5 out of 5

    Britton

    father of dub poetry

  7. 5 out of 5

    dlpoetx

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  9. 5 out of 5

    Norman

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg Kemble

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Kern

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aidan Daley-hynes

  15. 4 out of 5

    Philip Jones

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leo Dunsker

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Tammaro

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lane Po

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aida Rogers

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  21. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Cowles

    4 1/2 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    H.R. Hegnauer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tisa

  24. 4 out of 5

    anon

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sohum

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Reanna Julien

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennafer Small

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chance Kroll

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