Tag Archives: By Rosaliene Bacchus

“Fault Lines” – Poem by St. Lucian Poet Kendel Hippolyte – By Rosaliene Bacchus

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Front Cover: Fault Lines by Kendel Hippolyte
Cover Art by Cecil Fevrier

My Poetry Corner April
2019
features the poem “Fault Lines” from the poetry collection, Fault Lines, by Kendel Hippolyte, a
poet, playwright, and director. Born in the Eastern Caribbean Island of St.
Lucia in 1952, he lived in Jamaica in the 1970s, where he explored his talents
in writing plays and poetry. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1976 at the
University of the West Indies Mona campus, he returned to St. Lucia.

Four poetry collections have followed his first publication in 1980. Fault Lines – published by the UK publisher, Peepal Tree Press, in 2012 – won the 2013 OCM Bocas (Caribbean Literature) Prize for Poetry. In 2000, he was awarded the St. Lucia Medal of Merit for Contribution to the Arts.

Since retiring from teaching theater arts and literature at the Sir Arthur Lewis…

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“Unwritten Poem” – Poem by Barbados’ First Poet Laureate Esther Phillips

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minister of culture appoints poet esther phillips as barbados' first poet laureate - february 2018

Minister of Culture appoints Poet Esther Phillips as Barbados’ first Poet Laureate – February 2018
Photo Credit: Barbados Government Information Services

My Poetry Corner January 2019 features the poem “Unwritten Poem” from the poetry collection, The Stone Gatherer, by Esther Phillips, a poet and educator born in Barbados, where she still resides. In February 2018, she was appointed the first Poet Laureate of the Caribbean island-nation.

After attending the Barbados Community College at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, she won a James Michener fellowship to the University of Miami where, in 1999, she gained an MFA degree in Creative Writing. Her poetry collection/thesis won the Alfred Boas Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets.

In 2001, she won the leading Barbadian Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award. Years later, the third of her three well-received poetry collections, Leaving Atlantis (2015), won the Governor General’s Award…

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We want our country back – By Rosaliene Bacchus

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White NATIONALISTS in Charlottesville – Virginia – August 2017
Photo Credit: Vox (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency)

We want our country back
rile white nationalists
goose-stepping through the streets
of Americaville
waving tiki torches
emboldened and blinded
by their chosen fuhrer
ruling in the White House.

Homo sapiens. Wise man. Where is the wisdom, our superior intelligence, when we know not that we know not? How soon we forget that we live on the ancestral lands of conquered Native Americans: over 500 tribes occupying these lands for more than 15,000 years. How soon we forget that the good life we have enjoyed for generations has come with the sacrifice of non-white bodies to the gods of greed, plunder, and dispossession.

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Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships – Edited by Dr. K E Garland

From the blog by Rosaliene Bacchus..

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Book Cover - Daddy Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships Edited by Dr K E Garland

So much noise scrambling my thoughts as I read Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships edited by Dr. K E Garland. On arrival at our southern border with Mexico, refugee children – referred to as illegal migrants – are separated from their parents. A two-year-old girl screams while a U.S. Border Patrol agent questions her mother. Where is her father, I wonder?

Back to my reading of Daddy.

In her account, “Abandoned at Breakfast,” BB – a writer, wife, and mother whose parents had divorced when she was a kid – recalls her emptiness when her father didn’t show up for her baby shower.

“Behind the makeup and flashing cameras, I was still the little girl who longed for her father’s embrace,” BB recalls. “I wanted [my father] to accept me and tell me that I was beautiful, even fifty pounds heavier.”

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“Poems for the Men of Our Time” by Brazilian Poet Hilda Hilst

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Entrance to Hilda Hilst Institute - Casa do Sol - Campinas - Sao Paulo - Brazil

Entrance to Hilda Hilst Institute – Casa do Sol – Campinas – São Paulo – Brazil

My Poetry Corner May 2018 features an excerpt from “Poems for the Men of Our Time” (Poemas aos Homens do Nosso Tempo) by Brazilian poet, playwright, and novelist Hilda Hilst (1930-2004), born in Jaú in the interior of São Paulo, Southeast Brazil. Soon after her birth, her mother moved with her to Santos, a coastal city and port. Her father wanted a lover, not a wife. Having a girl child was “bad luck,” he told her mother. Hilda grew up determined to prove him wrong.

Hilda was seven years old when her mother revealed the truth: Her father suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Her father’s mental illness and his frequent internment over the years, until his death in 1966, had a profound effect on her poetry and fiction which often drew upon themes…

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“This is My Meditation” – Poem by Guyanese-born Author & Poet Sir Wilson Harris

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Dawn and Evening Star, Olmec Maya Series by Guyanese-born Artist Aubrey Williams, 1982

Dawn & Evening Star, Olmec Maya Series (1982) by Guyanese-born Artist Aubrey Williams
Source: October Gallery

On March 8th, Guyana’s illustrious literary writer, Sir Wilson Harris, died at the age of ninety-six in England where he had lived since 1959. Born in 1921 in New Amsterdam, British Guiana (now Guyana), Harris began his writing career as a poet, obtaining exposure through the colony’s literary magazine, Kyk-over-Al. My Poetry Corner April 2018 features one of these poems, “This is My Meditation,” published in 1947. Since I couldn’t find the original title of this poem, I’ve used the opening words as a substitute.

When he was two years old, Harris lost his father, “a well-off insurance businessman with a chauffeur-driven car.” His mother moved to the capital, Georgetown, and remarried. Six years later, tragedy struck again. His stepfather disappeared; believed drowned in the Interior.

“At almost the same time, I saw…

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“Camelot or Haunted Eden” by American Poet Angela Consolo Mankiewicz

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Lancelot_and_Guinevere_-_Herbert_James_Draper - c. 1890
Lancelot & Guinevere by Herbert James Draper (c.1890)
King Arthur’s Court – Camelot
Source: Wikipedia

My Poetry Corner March 2018 features the poem “Camelot or Haunted Eden” by American poet, Angela Consolo Mankiewicz (1944-2017). March 7th marks one year since she lost her battle with lung cancer, leaving behind her husband of forty-five years.

In August 2017, Richard Mankiewicz compiled a Limited Edition of his wife’s body of work in the collection The Poetry of Angela Consolo Mankiewicz. In the Foreword, he shares her farewell message to him in which she built upon the poem “Camelot or Haunted Eden,” first published in Summer 1989.

What words say Love the way I feel it? she asks in the opening lines of her farewell message. In the face of death, during this Horror of a year, their love is all that matters.

She then speaks of Gratitude for things born of your…

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How the web of life became Cheap Nature – By Rosaliene Bacchus

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The Web of Life Reshaped - Painting by Mike Caimbeul

The Web of Life Reshaped – Painting by Mike Caimbeul
Photo Credit: Bongdoogle.com

Part Two of my series on the book, Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (Kairos Books, 2016), edited by Jason W. Moore, is a synopsis of Moore’s article on “The Rise of Cheap Nature.” In his article, he refers to two kinds of nature: nature with a common ‘n’ is the web of life; Nature with a capital ‘N’ is environments without humans.

Like Eileen Crist (Part One), Moore argues that we live in the “Age of Capital,” the Capitalocene. Until we understand that “capital and power do not act upon nature, but develop through the web of life,” we cannot formulate solutions for the environmental crises we now face.

Most people (myself included), Moore notes, still think about capitalism in economic terms – markets, prices, money, and the like. He proposes…

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Trump: China not to blame for US trade deficit – By Rosaliene Bacchus

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US President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping - Beijing - China - 9 November 2017

While watching BBC World News America on Thursday, November 9, 2017, I was surprised to hear our president say that he doesn’t blame China for America’s trade deficit with that country. This change of tone occurred during his recent state visit to China.

With President Xi Jinping by his side, President Trump told business leaders inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People: “I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the sake of its citizens?” [Read the complete news report at BBC Online News.]

While still describing the relationship as “very unfair” and “one-sided,” Trump blamed past US administrations for allowing our trade deficit with China to grow. As indicated in the chart below, showing US Trade in Goods with China 2004-2016, the trade deficit with China was US$266.3 billion (2008) at the end of the Bush…

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Angela Consolo Mankiewicz: Her Magnificent & Eternal Obsession – By Rosaliene Bacchus

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Richard & Angela 1972

My Poetry Corner April 2017 features “Another Love Poem: Even in Hell” by American poet, Angela Consolo Mankiewicz (1944-2017). Born in Brooklyn, New York, she moved – against her will – with her parents to Los Angeles at the age of fourteen. But the gods had other plans for her. In 1968, her path crossed that of Richard Mankiewicz, twelve years older, and altered the course of her life.

In “Writing Down the Words” (Istanbul Literary Review, September 2011 Edition), Angela ruminates:

I wonder if I will curse my father
for the even fewer words he said to me
of any value: have you considered the age difference?
Yes, I said, but nothing can be done about that.
No, he said, and it does not matter today,
but may when he’s older. Yes, I said,
but nothing can be done about that either.
No, he said. The end…

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