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Supplying Salt and Light

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Paperback published by McClelland & Stewart (McClelland & Stewart)

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About This Book

This stunning new book of poems from internationally renowned poet Lorna Goodison opens in Spain and Portugal, conjuring up a new history of the Caribbean and a new way of setting up its heritage.

     The title sets the tone for poems about backgrounds and outlines and shadows and sources of light. This extraordinary book -- "a wide lotus on the dark waters of song" -- is filled with surprises at every turn, as a Moorish mosque becomes a cathedral in Seville, a country girl dresses in Sunday clothes to visit a Jamaican bookmobile, and a bear appears suddenly, only to slip away silently into the trees on a road in British Columbia. The heartache of Billy Holliday singing the blues, the burden of Charlie Chaplin tramping the banana walks of Jamaica's Golden Cloud, and the paintings of El Greco, the quintessential stranger, come together on the poet's pilgrimage to Heartease, guided by a limping angel and inspired by the passage-making of Dante; the book ends with a superb version of the first of his cantos, translated into the poet's Jamaican language and landscape with the gift of love.

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This stunning new book of poems from internationally renowned poet Lorna Goodison opens in Spain and Portugal, conjuring up a new history of the Caribbean and a new way of setting up its heritage.

     The title sets the tone for poems about backgrounds and outlines and shadows and sources of light. This extraordinary book -- "a wide lotus on the dark waters of song" -- is filled with surprises at every turn, as a Moorish mosque becomes a cathedral in Seville, a country girl dresses in Sunday clothes to visit a Jamaican bookmobile, and a bear appears suddenly, only to slip away silently into the trees on a road in British Columbia. The heartache of Billy Holliday singing the blues, the burden of Charlie Chaplin tramping the banana walks of Jamaica's Golden Cloud, and the paintings of El Greco, the quintessential stranger, come together on the poet's pilgrimage to Heartease, guided by a limping angel and inspired by the passage-making of Dante; the book ends with a superb version of the first of his cantos, translated into the poet's Jamaican language and landscape with the gift of love.

Product Details
Paperback (128 pages)
Published: March 26, 2013
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Imprint: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 9780771035906
Other books byLorna Goodison
  • From Harvey River

    From Harvey River
    A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island
    "Throughout her life my mother [Doris] lived in two places at once: Kingston, Jamaica, where she raised a family of nine children, and Harvey River, in the parish of Hanover, where she was born and grew up." In the tradition of Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family and Carlos Eire's Waiting for Snow in Havana comes Lorna Goodison's luminous memoir of her forebears—From Harvey River. When Doris' English grandfather, William Harvey, discovers a clearing at the end of a path cut by the feet of those running from slavery, he gives his name to what will become his family's home for generations. For Doris, Harvey River is the place she always called home, the place where she was one of the "fabulous Harvey girls" and where the rich local bounty of the land went hand in hand with the Victorian niceties and comforts of her parents' house. It is a place she will return to in dreams when her fortunes change, years later, and she and her husband, Marcus Goodison, relocate to "hard life" Kingston and encounter the harsh realities of urban living in close quarters as they raise their family of nine children. In lush prose, Lorna Goodison weaves memory and island lore to create a vivid, universally appealing tapestry.

    By Love Possessed

    By Love Possessed
    Stories
    With this highly praised collection of short fiction, Lorna Goodison demonstrates why she may be one of literature's best-kept secrets. In the Pushcart Prize-winning title story, humble Dottie thinks her luck has turned when she meets Frenchie, the best-looking, if not most reliable, man in the whole of Jamaica. In "The Helpweight," an accomplished woman must bear the burden of an old flame's renewed affections when he returns from a life abroad with his Irish bride in tow. And in "Henry," a young boy turned out of his house to make way for his mother's lover sells roses on the street to survive. On a whim, he bites off a bloom, which he can feel burning inside his mouth like a red pepper light, hoping it will take root and beautify his own life. Poetically rendered, these and over a dozen other evocative stories create a world in which pride can nourish a soul or be its ruin and where people are in turn uplifted and undone by love.

    Travelling Mercies

    Travelling Mercies
    At the heart of acclaimed poet Lorna Goodison’s seventh book of poetry – her first published in Canada – is music, moving from a slow ska, a hard rocksteady, and a sweetie-come-brush-me bossanova, to line and sight gratitude psalms, lionheart outlaw anthems, and Miles Davis, blown by the winds to a concert in Berlin. Many of the poems are about those not heard or less counted, those who live in places like the favelas of Rio or the Kingston slum called Moonlight City. Goodison chronicles how “from shameports we passed through whale-belly nights of no return”, or from prison through the fields of Tecumseh on a Greyhound bus to Detroit. And she journeys, as they must have, to hell, this time in a marvellous translation of the canto about Brunetto Latini from Dante’s Inferno, where she meets Mr. Brown, a Jamaican duppy conqueror from her own land of look behind. Set mainly in her native Jamaica but universal in its concerns, this book, rare and special, is the real thing.

    To Us, All Flowers Are Roses

    To Us, All Flowers Are Roses
    Poems
    Goodison's is an original voice in contemporary poetry, drawing on both African and European inheritances and reminding us that African heritages in the New World are not exclusively those of Americans, and that their Caribbean expression is a significantly different and relatively little known part of the African American experience. Her finely crafted poems often carry a sense of language's healing power in the face of the pain of the past.

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