In this dread season, Rahim finds hope and consolation in the word and in those places where it is possible to find salvation in “this landscape of ever-opening doorways”, such as Grand Riviere, the subject of a long, twelve-part reflection on the values that can still be found in rural Trinidad. Elsewhere she engages in dialogue with those writers who confronted the Janus face of Caribbean creativity and nihilism: writers such as Earl Lovelace, Eric Roach, Victor Questel, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite and Martin Carter, praying of the last “let his words drop on the conscience of a nation”. Alluding to the late Jamaican poet Anthony McNeill, she confides that “The Ungod of things has not changed”.
This is an ambitious collection that speaks in both a prophetic and a literary, intertextual voice, which combines the personal and the public in mutually enriching ways; it shows the assurance of a poet who has constantly worked at her craft, but who also takes formal risks to capture the reality of desperate times.
Jennifer Rahim is Trinidadian. She also writes short fiction and criticism. She is currently Senior Lecturer at The Liberal Arts Department, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad.