Poetry Review: A Light Song Of Light by Kei Miller

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A LIGHT SONG OF LIGHT BY KEI MILLER
CARCANET PRESS (KOBO), 2010
88 PAGES

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE: AUTHOR PAGE

AMAZON.UK

AMAZON.COM

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Kei Miller’s work was acclaimed by the distinguished Jamaican writer Olive Senior as ‘Some of the most exciting poetry I’ve read in years… An extraordinary new voice singing with clarity and grace.’ A Light Song of Light sings in the rhythms of ritual and folktale, praise songs and anecdotes, blending lyricism with a cool wit, finding the languages in which poetry can sing in dark times. The book is in two parts: Day Time and Night Time, each exploring the inseparable elements that together make a whole. Behind the daylight world of community lies another, disordered, landscape: stories of ghosts and bandits, a darkness violent and seductive. At the heart of the collection is the Singerman, a member of Jamaica’s road gangs in the 1930s, whose job was to sing while the rest of the gang broke stones. He is a presence both mundane and shamanic. Kei Miller’s poems celebrate ‘our incredible and abundant lives’, facing the darkness and making from it a song of the light.

EXTRACT

TWELVE NOTES FOR A LIGHT SONG OF LIGHT

i A light song of light is not sung
in the light; what would be the point?

WHAT I THOUGHT

This is my first time reading the poet.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poems. The title poem is one of the best poems I’ve ever read. It’s one I could read and re-read many times over. I really liked the use of Jamaican slang scattered throughout the poems, making them very personal. Some of the poems are startling and profound and very moving. At time my heart ached when I was reading as if the poet reached deep inside me and squeezed my heart. A Smaller Song is one of the saddest poems I’ve ever read. A Light Song of Light is a fantastic collection of poems.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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