Place frequently provides the subject matter and the metaphorical threads that run through the collection. Poems are drawn to hinterlands and interiors both as actual places and as mental landscapes and as a metaphor for the interior life of the poem – frequently independent of the writer’s conscious intentions. Poems investigate journeyings and borders that connect to the adventure of engaging with the otherness of encountered people. Poems celebrate identities that can never be other than as multi-layered as the places that shaped them.
Cyril Dabydeen writes with lyric grace, but perhaps his most characteristic voice is conversational, often witty and amused in its sharing of experiences as diverse as the incidents of travel, cricket, and the absurd pretensions of the literary world.
In these conversations with the reader, the poems make enlightening connections between ancient Greece and Amerindian myth in Guyana; the present and the buried voices of the past.
In paying homage to the great Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, Cyril Dabydeen signals that he too is a rejector of absolutes, in search of multiple possibilities.