Strands of Trinidad, Mervyn Taylor’s birthplace, are woven throughout this beautiful collection of poems that turn to memory and desire, an unsentimental saudade that contains what has been lost and his love for it: a Port of Spain, where "what fell was dew, not ashes," a Savannah where horses once raced. Now, his capital city lies "like a wounded man." In Brooklyn, on Fulton, murals are fading and on Nostrand dancehalls have closed, as in the larger world, the earth explodes, "country by country." Voices do carry in Voices Carry, the sixth book from this master of what is left unsaid. With exquisite, unembellished detail, Taylor renders visible and audible the drama at the heart of town, the tempo of calypso, the dialogue of neighbors in Brooklyn, and, most importantly, Belmont, where the poet grew up and realized that a writer is what he wanted to be, all those voices letting us know that this is what he most thoroughly is.
—Susana H. Case, author of 4 Rms w Vu.
The Master Portrait Painter, Mervyn Taylor, is visiting his old haunts, the island he has sketched time and again with indelible ink, the Brooklyn of his residence in exile, and the journey back and forth, the poet returning to fill up his paint bottles, to recount the stories of voices that carry from dreams, memories, the Port of Spain that has changed forever and yet remains the city that is his own.
In this new collection, that is at the same time as old as the eternal truths he tells, we celebrate the voices the poet hears: we see him walk beside the Savannah, people calling out, hello Uncle, Daddy; we lament the turning of green places into dangerous fields, and we cry quietly while accompanying "the boy walking with his broken kite/to find the old Indian who bought him/the thread, to tell him how well it flew."
—Indran Amirthanayagam, author of An Uncivil War.