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This poetry collection includes prose. Some pieces tell stories. Others half-express, half-explain, a certain pressure of situation. Poems in a book do not sound, or signify, as do poems extracted, or composed, to stand alone. The sequence matters, as does the whole. Prose, by the fact of its inclusion in a poetry collection, calls attention to its qualities, and to poetry's differences, as it cannot do elsewhere.

Writers pick up on, think their way into, other voices. If this is objectionable, so is every attempt to understand others. The words on my pages derive from various areas in my mental landscape. One example: having read some Anglo-Saxon, the poetry of a people who understood the sea, I sought a way to render the rhythms and memories that, in England, recalled me to Trinidad. Without imitation, without the superimposition of one tradition on another experience, different bindings of language became available to tie and loosen what held my mind. The influences, and processes, are many and ongoing.

I realized that this shifting of modes, which initially seemed natural, was not universally obvious. This became a concern within the writing. Identity politics; the lyrical I; were inadequate to a sense of self evolving from others and their words, accessible or arcane.

This book is an autobiography, moving outwards from Trinidad; from the mind that feels free to report on the world, into the mind that knows it must question itself. Finally it becomes a way of honouring the dead, a logical journey's-end.

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poets Publisher: Salt Publishing Publication Date: 15/04/2003 ISBN-13: 9781876857882  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Vahni Capildeo was born in 1973, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. She came to England in 1991. This is her first book.

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