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Night Vision: Poems
by Kendel Hippolyte
Northwestern University Press, 2006 Cloth: 978-0-8101-5162-8 | Paper: 978-0-8101-5163-5
ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Because we see with history, it is difficult to see through it. And yet we must or we become it, become nothing else but history.
It is this challenge, laid down in the powerful title poem of this collection, which Kendel Hippolyte takes up in Night Vision. And the history that Hippolyte penetrates is a history of the change overtaking the island of St. Lucia. As town becomes city and city spreads like a cancer, the poet's searching verse finds among the waste of humanity, nature, and culture a microcosm of the transforming Caribbean-from tradition, community, rooted identity, to social fragmentation, isolation, uncertainty. And yet, in the personal, away from the daytime public glare, Night Vision also finds the possibility of renewal. Engaging society and self, the poet's dialogue is conducted in a range of poetic voices and styles-the traditional forms of sonnet, villanelle, triolet, echo poem, as well as dramatic monologues in Caribbean English idioms and rhythms of speech; poems written to the metrics of blues and rap alongside free verse poems that expand in long-breath incantatory lines and contract in miniaturist forms as concise as graffiti. The joyful linguistic energy of the poems is perhaps what makes them, and us, look beyond the glaring reality they contemplate to a more hopeful, if nighttime, vision.
Born in St. Lucia in 1952, Kendel Hippolyte has published four books of poetry, the most recent being Birthright (Peepal Tree Press, 1997), and his poetry has appeared in various journals. He has twice won the Minvielle & Chastanet Fine Arts Award for Literature, the premier arts award in St.Lucia. In 2000 Hippolyte was awarded the St. Lucia Medal of Merit for his contribution to the arts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Not Made with Hands 000
42 Chisel Street 000
Kinky Blues 000
City Graffiti 000
City Voices 000
The Head of Mary Rackliffe 000
Temples of Gov 000
The Piper's Song 000
The Piper's Children 000
Sale a Millennium Rap 000
Night Vision 000
Autocolonial Note 000
Caribbean Market 000
"You May Be Looking at Someone Who's Stopped at Writing" 000
Lately the Words 000
Contra Diction 000
Circle of Joy 000
The Wild Horses of the Ozarks 000
Ovalea's Bedtime Story to the Third Child 000
Broken Bowl 000
The Dogs 000
Sane Blues 000
Like Wind 000
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