“History Shelves” – Poem by Caribbean-American Poet Sassy Ross

Three Worlds One Vision


Father and Daughter
Photo Credit: Parent Cue

My Poetry Corner January 2016 features the poem “History Shelves” by Caribbean-American poet Sassy Ross. Born in St. Lucia, at the age of ten, she moved to the USA where she lives in New York City. From a sample of fifteen of her poems, recently published in Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean by Peekash Press, this poem explores the poet’s troubled relationship with her father. Using the bookcase filled with “books dense as stone tablets / on a pharaoh’s tomb,” in their family room, Ross recalls those early years of their history together.

The poet’s memory of her father is enmeshed with the drug culture in the Caribbean in the 1980s. In her poem “The Rottweiler,” she and her mother go in search of her father the drug addict. Late at night, their Rottweiler alerts them when her father…

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