‐ Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing ‐

The Denting of a Wave

Written by n/a for Sunday Gleaner on no date provided

POETRY has been said to be pursuit of young persons. This book, The Denting of a Wave gives the lie to that. It is the first collection of the poet Ralph Thompson just published when he is a mature, cultured, civilised man. Not all the poems are recent, of course, but many exhibit the deep knowledge which comes from much learning backed up by considerable poetic skill polished over the years.

Ralph Thompson’s poetry is by no means unknown having been appearing in discriminating journals in the Caribbean and in the UK for several years. With an L.L.D. from Fordham University and trained in management Ralph Thompson has been a very successful businessman for many years but clearly his first (and second) love are the arts, painting and poetry. For those who have long admired his poems it is a great pleasure to see this collection of some four dozen poems. Dub poetry, undoubtedly, has its place in our culture and this is shown in its inclusion in modern anthologies but there is still room for more conservative poetry such as that of Ralph Thompson.

Allusions, often to classical stories, are frequently to be found and pleasing phrases are numerous as in the title of the book, taken from one of the poems, ‘The Denting of a Wave’. Or the striking metaphor: ‘A St. Elizabeth red woman / moon, arms folded across / her breast, full of bile, glares / like a jealous wife at the hotel / suspicious of infidelities.’ Or from ‘Death of a Honda Rider’: ‘From a pothole’s asphalt vase / a sprig of red hibiscus / waves / the traffic off...’

One could quote many more striking and felicitous phrases. A book full of meat and full of pleasure.

This is a review of The Denting of a Wave

View this book
‐ Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing ‐