Caribbean Poetry

Topics: Poetry, Caribbean, Sonnet Pages: 7 (1988 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Caribbean Voices : Living a Double life / Dual Identities.

Caribbean Poetry is the expression of the constant dualistic nature of the Caribbean identity. Caribbean Poetry exemplifies a unique hybrid made from the voice of the Caribbean experience and its postcolonial English heritage but this creates an inner crisis. The inner crisis of two conflicting cultures that create further conflicting ideas of home and belonging on one hand and growth and fulfilment on the other. But it is also about the resolving of these inner issues.

A life in limbo. Searching for identity in Limbo.

The Carribean Voice is spoken through the Poetry of the Caribbean islands. The answer to the identity crisis can be found amongst the poetry. It’s hybridity, uniqueness and resilience are all characteristics of the poetry and therefore the poet.

What does the poetry reveal about the problems of post colonial identity, including the relationships between personal identity and cultural identity and such issues as double consciousness and hybridity.

Looking at the difficulties inherent in the postcolonial subject's attempt to formulate a new personal and national identity.

Social and cultural oppression are the effects of colonialism.

The aftermath, language and culture. Hybridization and double consciousness are the effects of colonization. Homelessness and exile. Living in a state of limbo. Caught between two cultures.

Introduction: Living in Limbo
The poetry not only addresses the issues of the Caribbean people but over time has developed into something much more. It has become philosophical and wise and this is down to its cultural experiences. ‘The Caribbean offers us literature about the process of growth through, or in spite of, a history of exploitation and prejudice, about the turning of negatives into positives..’ (Burnett, 1986, Pg23) Chapter one: Home, Hybridity and Diasporic Existence – look at what the poetry tells us about the writers sense of home, national identity, cultural identity. The social and cultural oppression they faced.

Chapter two: The power of Language – what does the language in the poem tell us about the identity of the poet, liberating or oppressive, close reading of the poetry.

Chapter three: The future of the post colonial subject/ the aftermath of colonialism – is the identity of postcolonial subject destined to be uncertain, identity being cultural or personal? Double consciousness exile and homelessness . Taking of different cultural influences and making them whole. Poetry is a way of breaking through/ deconstructing the colonization and forming new senses of identity that is a combination of all the cultures. Taking the bits you prefer or the best bits and forming something much better out of it. Way to combat is to embrace the differences and create new forms of identity.


Poetry from the Caribbean Islands has evolved remarkably. It has now developed an identity of its own despite emerging through the forced combining of different cultures. This new identity is belonging to the poets of the islands and this identity is resilient and clearly uniquely Caribbean. Through colonial education writers were able to take the Great Tradition of European poets and give them a new identity by changing the subject matter of the poems and experimenting with rhythms and poetic languages stemmed from the African heritage these writers uniquely possess. It becomes a magical combination of poetic prose and oral tradition that the writers use to share with the reader the experiences and realities of the Caribbean existence. What results is poetry that is able to communicate to masses of people, from different cultures, in a form so well placed that it becomes both simple and profound.

The poetry not only addresses the issues of the Caribbean people but over time has developed into something much more. It has become philosophical and wise and this is down to its...
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