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.
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