Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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p. vii

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, poetry in Canada—writing and publishing it, reading and thinking about it—finds itself in a strangely conflicted place.We have many strong poets continuing to produce exciting new work, and there is still a small audience for poetry; but increasingly, poetry...

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Biographical Note

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p. viii

Born in Guayguayare, Trinidad, on January 7, 1953, Dionne Brand moved to Canada in 1970. She settled in Toronto, where she attended the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, completing her M.A. and doctoral coursework. Brand has held several university positions...

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xvi

Dionne Brand’s writing charts a complex history, a resolute politics, an ethics of witness, and the occasional hopefulness wedded to deep despair. The long poem is Dionne Brand’s form, and so this anthology invites its readers to return these excerpts to their sources...

No language is neutral

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pp. 1-6

No language is neutral...

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p. 1

There it was anyway, some damn memory...

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p. 2

Pilate was that river I never crossed as a child...

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p. 3

I walk Bathurst Street until it come like home...

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p. 4

But wait, this must come out then...

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p. 5

In another place, not here, a woman might touch...

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p. 6

Land to Light On

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pp. 7-12

V i

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p. 7

V ii

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p. 8

V iii

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p. 9

V iv

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p. 10

V v

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p. 11

V vi

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p. 12

Thirsty

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pp. 13-21

III

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p. 13

XII

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p. 14

XIII

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p. 15

XV

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p. 16

XVII

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p. 17

XVIII

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pp. 18-20

XXX

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p. 21

Inventory

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pp. 22-34

One year she sat at the television weeping...

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p. 22

nothing personal is recorded here...

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p. 23

what confidences would she tell you then...

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p. 24

she’s heard clearly now, twenty-three...

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p. 25

beating on the tympanic bone, by suicide bomb...

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p. 26

At least someone should stay awake, she thinks...

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p. 27

and bones beatific, sharpened with heat, at least...

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p. 28

“It is worst during the night...

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p. 29

there’s another life, she listens, each hour, each night...

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p. 30

If they’re numb over there, and all around her...

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p. 31

she’ll gather the passions of women...

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p. 32

till then...

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p. 33

she is a woman who is losing the idea...

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p. 34

Afterword

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pp. 35-38

Acknowledgments

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pp. 39-40