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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Book of the week: Selected Poems, by Ian McDonald

The new Antilles book of the week is Ian McDonald's Selected Poems, a long-overdue survey of the career of one of the Caribbean's most admired writers. McDonald, who is probably still best known for his novel The Humming-Bird Tree (1969), didn't publish his first full book of poems until Mercy Ward in 1988, though he published individual poems in magazines and journals as far back as the 1950s. After Mercy Ward came Essequibo (1992), Jaffo the Calypsonian (1994), and Between Silence and Silence (2003). The new Selected Poems, edited by Edward Baugh, collects more than ninety poems from these predecessor volumes, arranged chronologically.

As Baugh writes in his introduction: "the sobering awareness of mortality which deepens McDonald's verse is irradiated by his celebration of life, his gratitude for happy days and for earth's bounty of joy."

(Read two poems by Ian McDonald published in the November 2007.)


FSJL said...

"Erath's bounty of joy"?

Nicholas Laughlin said...

A typo, FSJL. (Surprised we don't have more of them.) Now fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.