We see, too, over time, the work of a poet who has her finger on the pulse of change over the past several decades, but who also has her eye on what is enduring, the places across the region she constantly returns to, the human qualities on which a hard-won hope can be sustained. There is both stillness and movement in her poems, the recording of the experiences of travel and the moments at rest when there is space for contemplation. Hers is always a personal voice and woman’s voice, conversational, sometimes exasperated but always thought-provoking. If the sharpness of her comments on the inequalities of race and gender seem to have tempered over the years, it is because of a continually deepening appreciation of the essential lineaments of the human condition caught in the passing of time. She is, though, always a Jamaican and a Caribbean poet whose work is shaped by her sense of the region’s difficult history, but also by its unparalleled natural beauties.
Velma Pollard writes poetry, fiction and studies of language. She was born in Jamaica and worked at the University of the West Indies where she was Dean of the Faculty of Education before her retirement.