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Kamau Brathwaite

Publication Year: 2010

Kamau Brathwaite is a major Caribbean poet of his generation and one of the major world poets of the second half of the twentieth century. Elegguas--a play on "elegy" and "Eleggua," the Yoruba deity of the threshold, doorway, and crossroad--is a collection of poems for the departed. Modernist and post-modernist in inspiration, Elegguas draws together traditions of speaking with the dead, from Rilke's Duino Elegies to the Jamaican kumina practice of bringing down spirits of the dead to briefly inhabit the bodies of the faithful, so that the ancestors may provide spiritual assistance and advice to those here on earth. The book is also profoundly political, including elegies for assassinated revolutionaries like in the masterful "Poem for Walter Rodney."

Throughout his poetry, Brathwaite foregrounds "nation-language," that difference in syntax, in rhythm, and timbre that is most closely allied to the African experience in the Caribbean, using the computer to explore the graphic rendition of nuances of language. Brathwaite experiments using his own Sycorax fonts, as well as deliberate misspellings ("calibanisms") and deviations in punctuation. But this is never simple surface aesthetic, rather an expression of the turbulence (in history, in dream) depicted in the poems. This collection is a stunning follow-up to Brathwaite's Born to Slow Horses (Wesleyan, 2005), winner of the Griffin International Poetry Prize.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Series: The Driftless Series & Wesleyan Poetry Series


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1 Letter to Zea Mexican (1)

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pp. 3-7


2 Aunt Lucille

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p. 11

3 Elegy for Rosita

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p. 12

4 Circle(s)

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p. 13

5 Harlem

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pp. 14-15

6 Duke

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pp. 16-24


7 Mesongs

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pp. 27-43


8 Letter to Zea Mexican (2)

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pp. 47-52


9 Cherries

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pp. 55-59

10 Poem for Walter Rodney

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pp. 60-66

11 Stone

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pp. 67-72

12 D

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pp. 73-78

13 Xang

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pp. 79-80

14 Ark

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pp. 81-86


15 This sweet windpersonpoem

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pp. 89-98


16 Tell me how close (1)

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p. 101

17 Tell me how close (2)/DChad

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pp. 102-103

18 Tell me how close (3)

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pp. 104-106


19 fflute(s)

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pp. 109-110


20 Yemanjaa

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pp. 112-117


21 Letter to Zea Mexican (3)

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pp. 121-123

E-ISBN-13: 9780819571007
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819569431

Page Count: 140
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: The Driftless Series & Wesleyan Poetry Series
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OCLC Number: 728247994
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Elegguas

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