April 25, 2008

Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child by Anthony McNeill

Tony McNeillAnthony McNeill was without doubt amongst the finest contemporary Caribbean poets, whose previous collections, Reel from 'The Life Movie' and Credences at the Altar of Cloud, were hailed as works of immense originality. Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child won the 1995 Jamaican National Literary Award. Completed shortly before his death, it is a farewell to the world which moves like a bird in flight between moments of painful regret, wry humour and a sense of closure. Anthony McNeill's word-lanterns will continue to flame in the darkness long beyond his death.

An excerpt from Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child

Somebody is hanging:
a logwood tree
laden with blossoms
in a deep wood.
The body stirs left
in the wind;
if the wind could send
its miracle breath
back to that person,
I tell you it would.
Love is Earth's mission
despite the massed dead.
On the night of the hanging
the Autumn moon bled.


Courtesy of Peepal Tree Press

Throughout the month of April, National Poetry Month, poets from the Caribbean and South Florida will be featured on this blog.

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