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A Light Song of Light

Kei Miller

Cover of A Light Song of Light by Kei Miller
RRP: GBP£ 9.95
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ISBN: 978 1 847771 03 2
Categories: 21st Century, Caribbean
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: July 2010
216 x 135 x 8 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • A light song of light swells up in the dark
    times, in wolf time and knife time,
    in knuckle and blood times; it blooms
    nocturnally, like a Chinese flower,
    bright against the midnight.

            from 'Twelve Notes for a Light Song of Light'
    Selected for Next Generation Poets 2014 

    Kei Miller's work was acclaimed by the distinguished Jamaican writer Olive Senior as 'Some of the most exciting poetry I’ve read in years... An extraordinary new voice singing with clarity and grace.' A Light Song of Light sings in the rhythms of ritual and folktale, praise songs and anecdotes, blending lyricism with a cool wit, finding the languages in which poetry can sing in dark times. 

    The book is in two parts: Day Time and Night Time, each exploring the inseparable elements that together make a whole. Behind the daylight world of community lies another, disordered, landscape: stories of ghosts and bandits, a darkness violent and seductive. At the heart of the collection is the Singerman, a member of Jamaica's road gangs in the 1930s, whose job was to sing while the rest of the gang broke stones. He is a presence both mundane and shamanic. Kei Miller’s poems celebrate 'our incredible and abundant lives', facing the darkness and making from it a song of the light.

    Cover photograph: Detail of balmyard constructed from zinc, Jamaica. Copyright © Kei Miller.

    Day Time
    Twelve Notes for a Light Song of Light 
    This Zinc Roof
    Some Definitions for Song
    Until you too have journeyed
    Some Definitions for Light (I)
    If this short poem stretches
    Notice to the Public, Please Observe
    Some Definitions for Light (II)
    The Longest Song
    A Short Biography of the Singerman
    What Can Be Accommodated
    The Singerman’s Papa
    The Colour of the Singerman’s Songs
    In Defence of Obeah
    Questions for Martin Carter
    Call this apocalyptic propaganda if you must
    For Cornelius Eady
    Thinkin Home
    Some Definitions for Light (III)

    Night Time
    The Lost Prophecy of Alexander Bedward 
    De True Story of Rolling Calf
    De True Story of Nathaniel Morgan
    De True Story of Coolie Duppy
    De True Story of deLaurence
    A Praise Song for Sudden Lights
    A Creed
    A Smaller Song
    For the Pilots
    A Short History of Beds We Have Slept in Together
    The Law Concerning Mermaids
    What We Thought Were Signs
    On the Ninth Night
    The Singerman’s Other Job
    A Parting Song
    A Nine Night Song
    Some Definitions for Night

    Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. Kei writes across a range of genres: novels, books of short stories, essays and poetry. His poetry has been shortlisted for awards such as the Jonathan Llewelyn Ryhs Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Scottish Book of the Year. His fiction has ... read more
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