Limbo: Version, For Kamau Brathwaite
Spirit flashes down the spine of twin
crosses that hold my body, yet free
my arms to undulate through time
until I am as small as a spider;
drums pull me under the tide
that has borne so many back to Guinee,
and I bend my legs on the sand
of this new world baptized by blood,
inch toward space crowned
by torch light and hushed voices
on the other side of the auction block
welcoming with uncertain music
of kete and fife, alive and chained
with the promise to my brother, my father:
Atibon Legba, ouvrir barriere pour nous…
Happy Birthday, Kamau!
Edward Kamau Brathwaite (born May 11, 1930) is one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary canon. Brathwaite is the 2006 International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, for his volume of poetry, Born to Slow Horses.
A holder of an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Sussex and co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM), Brathwaite has received both theGuggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, and is a winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bussa Award, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the Charity Randall Prize for Performance and Written Poetry.
Brathwaite is noted for his studies of Black cultural life both in Africa and throughout the African diasporas of the world in works such asFolk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica; The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820; Contradictory Omens; Afternoon of the Status Crow; and History of the Voice.