Book Review: Dub Wise @ sxsalon
Dub Wise: The Rhythm Of Life by Jennifer Marshall
In his recent collection of poetry, Dub Wise, Geoffrey Philp explores themes of Caribbean identity in a postcolonial framework and the effect of these internal conflicts on communities and family relationships. The work speaks of modern-day environmental, spiritual, and political concerns, and Philp incorporates dimensions of reggae and the Rastafari movement to express stories of history, place, and the human condition.
In an interview with Caribbean Literary Salon, Philp reflects on growing up in Jamaica in the post-independence movement and how the creativity of this period inspired him as a fledgling writer:
I grew up at a time when there was widespread disillusionment with the promises of Independence and at a time of growing social unrest that saw the movement of Rastafari from the ghettos into the middle class. . . . The concept of InI that is at the heart of Rastafari and reggae has influenced my life and my art in so many ways.
Having first experienced the “grumble of this subversive music” (71) flowing from his mother’s turntables as a boy, Philp’s love of rocksteady, reggae, and dub wise shaped his collection of work, each poem beginning with the germ of an idea and growing with his love of the music, inspired and shaped by its beats and political and spiritual messages of self-reliance and cultural pride. Philp’s role in his day-to-day life as teacher and mentor resonate throughout his work and his poetry, suggesting a moral obligation to seek, and to guide others to seek, a self-assured place, a place he has certainly found as a writer.
Like Bob Marley, who preached the same tenets of self-reliance and determination, and whom Philp reveres as a fellow artist, spiritual icon, and revolutionary, Philp seeks to recreate the rhythms of life through his craft. He adopts Jamaican patois in the poems “Ode To Brother Joe” and “Mule Train: Version” to tell the story of disenfranchised Jamaicans in their own “voice.” Other poems in the collection read like lyrics from a song, as if written to the beat of a drum, embodying the very essence of “dub wise,” as Philp describes it: “the pared down essentials of drum and bass after which there is only the silence from which it emerged.”
For more, please follow this link, Dub Wise: The Rhythm Of Life