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Lyrical reverie on legacy, testimony and hope is at the heart of Esther Phillips’ Witness in Stone

Written by Nicola Hunte for BIM, Volume 10 on no date provided

Witness in Stone is reminiscent of intricately wrought but imposing stone structure, even as it testifies to the apparently commonplace - a young man on a bicycle, a playful encounter with a grandchild, a walk along a country road at dawn, all rendered in a manner that gives them shape and heft. Reading this collection exemplifies why Esther Phillips is Barbados’s Poet Laureate. Her poetic skill – the ability to capture detail with an economy of words and poignant imagery – is finely contextualised by her attention to Barbadian settings and landscape. But it is her treatment of this detail that enriches the reading experience. Nestled within observations of flora, simple rituals, the sounds of human living are profound emotions and weighty ruminations.

This is a review of Witness in Stone

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