The Arrival of Brighteye and other Poems, A Graph Review

A Graph Review,   50s with high points of 60s

Published by     Bloodaxe Books    2000.         paperback £7.95

978 185224538 2                                  A collection of 31 poems


I found catching the native Caribbean accent from this collection daunting at the start but with concentration and the numerous smooth transitions to standard English as separate and within poems, the unfamiliar soon became much easier and that voice inside my head settled into an agreeable attempt at the diferent words and patterns.  However it still remained a challenging but interesting read into, for me, a different world.

Poems of  Caribbean scenes: Childhood, school, surroundings, emigration, life transplanted and death.  Not forgetting the likes of housework and love; the latter cropping up in its many guises. ‘The Arrival of Brighteye’ is the keynote poem as well as the cover title.  It is a story-poem, part prose, that offers hope and excitement of a new world and family reunion but ends on a sad line of familial  love.

Poems that seemed extravagant as I read turned into colourful pictures of places and people. The writing is spirited throughout,  affirming sisterhood no matter what.

The first, Bush Babies,  sets the scene and the poems move along picking out moments like apples from a tree.  Understanding and sexuality flit through many, especially early poems.  More use of Caribbean accent is in the second half of the collection, allowing readers to tune in to the language.  I have not seen her perform her work but expect Jean Breeze to be as colourful and exuberant as these poems

I always have to pick out some I like, so:

The garden path,     Sky love,        The arrival of bright eyes,   leading on to   playing the messiah and the last poem in the collection…Duppy Dance

Shame I can’t include ‘Ole Warrior’ or ‘on cricket, sex and housework’, or several others too…….. Yes, I would recommend all of them!  A thoroughly good read!

Short extract from Upstream (for Stevie):

“If you could hear the drumbeats on my mind

Give me one more flight of time

One more chime of music

One more glimpse of dawn

One more walk

through open spaces”




Author: poetryparc2

Here goes: I read poets and around poetry and any other book I take a fancy to. I seem to have a preference for seeing the changes from the Victorian period through to the 1930's, maybe 50's. But, and a big but, I also read anything right up to current poetry/performance poetry. Sometimes my ‘historic’ preference for 'imagist' and ‘Nature' unnerves me for too much too modern. However, I do like to range over poetry and fiction, any and all periods. I also like finding (if only for me) regional or partly forgotten poems and poets. Maybe all this is too eclectic to have a themed 'Blog' but so be it....... I also write fiction that might add up to a small mole-hill one day. Plus reviewing new or old books that are relevant to my enthusiasms of Crime Fiction, the Arts, Natural History and Special Education. This is on 'wordparc'. I try to record honestly what I think but if something is too bad (to my mind, others may love it!!) then I will not 'blog'. I buy or borrow to read and review. If there is a click-through it is meant to be useful though ‘wordery’ might give me a small % at no cost to you. There, what's that if not seemingly random!

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