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Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems

Lorna Goodison

Cover Picture of Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems
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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (104 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2006)
£9.95 £8.96
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  • We will crouch down then in a red earth
    hollow, press our lips close to the heart
    of this deep Cockpit Country and call out
    please don't change or change if you must
    just change slow. Old countryman riding
    jackass, big woman watering the dry peas,
    fat cow, and mawga dog, one-room dwelling
    with intricate carved lace fretwork eaves.
    Heaped yam hills, garlands of green vines,
    cockades of bamboo on crown of the hillside.
    Little bit of country village place or woodland
    name of Content, Wire Fence, Stetin, Allsides,
    far from domain of gunman and town strife.
    Country we leave from to go and make life.

    'Change If You Must Just Change Slow' by Lorna Goodison
    Lorna Goodison's Goldengrove is a rich and varied selection of poems from Travelling Mercies (2001) and Controlling the Silver (2004), together with twenty new, previously unpublished, poems. This is a gathering from a poet at the height of her powers.

    Moving seamlessly between standard English and the speech of her guinea woman grandmother, and between story and song, Goodison brings dignity to the everyday and grace to all our experiences.

    Derek Walcott refers to Goodison's latest poems as 'a triumph of fusions' and asks, 'What is the rare quality that has gone out of poetry that these marvellous poems restore? Joy.'
    New Poems
    I Come From a Land
    On Leaving Goldengrove: A letter and seven notes...
    Fall Away Iron Filings
    Where I Come From
    In Dreams of Shipwreck
    The Selfishness of Salmon
    Naming of Flowers
    To the Buddha Go the Roses
    Gates of Ivory, Gates of Horn
    The Lion and the Gypsy Revisited
    Silence Before Speech
    Yet Once More I Will Shake
    Rock of Ages
    The Cruel Room
    What Happened to Peter
    Giovanni Paulo
    Abraham and Isaac After
    A Praise Song to Mandiba and the Camphor Trees of Vergelegen
    Windrush Sankey

    from Travelling Mercies
    Spending the Gold of Lovers
    Travelling Mercies
    What We Carried That Carried Us
    The Living Converter Woman of Green Island
    Never Expect
    Was It Legba She Met Outside the Coronation Market?
    Moonlight City
    Run Greyhound
    Brunette Latini
    To the heirs of low bequests to harvest and glean...
    For Love of Marpessa Dawn
    Miles in Berlin
    The Garden of St. Michael in the Sevel-Hilled City of Bamberg
    I am weary of all winters mother
    Invitations From Heathcliff
    Poor Mrs. Lot
    Natal Song
    Over the Island of Salt
    Song of the Scapegoat
    Shining One
    To Absorb the Green
    Medicine Bundle of a Blackfoot Woman
    Her body became a containter for stars
    Studio I: Brother Everald Brown
    Studio II: Seymour L.
    Studio III: Petrona Morrison
    Studio IV: Barrington Watson
    Cézanne After Émile Zola
    Prises in Papine Market
    Crossover Griot
    Petition to the Magdalen
    Iron Shirt
    My Island Like a Swimming Turtle
    Questions for Marcus Mosiah Garvey
    Bam Chi Chi Lala

    from Controlling the Silver
    Island Aubade
    Dear Cousin
    Ode to the Watchman
    Our Ancestral Dwellings
    The Wandering Jew and the Arab Merchant on the Island of Allspice
    Passing the Grace Vessels of Calabash
    So Who Was the Mother of Jamaican Art?
    Jah the Baptist
    Poison Crab
    Fool-Fool Rose is Leaving Labor-in-Vain Savannah
    Rainstorm is Weeping: An Arawak Folk Tale Revisited
    Aunt Alberta
    Aunt Rose
    The Burden Bearer
    Creation Story: Why Our Island is Shaped Like a Turtle
    These Three Butterflies and One Bird We Interpret as Signs
    Don C and the Goldman Posse
    Where the Flora of Our Village Came From
    By the Light of a Jamaican Moon
    Lessons Learned from the Royal Primer
    Hirfa of Egypt
    What of Tuktoo the Little Eskimo?
    Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean
    Louis Galdy of the World's Once Wickedest City
    Black Like This?
    River Mumma
    The Wisdom of Cousin Fool-Fool Rose
    In the Field of Broken Pots
    But I May Be Reborn as Keke
    Change If You Must Just Change Slow
    The Yard Man: An Election Poem
    Controlling the Silver
    Making Life
    Your Ice Art, Michigan
    Missing the Goat
    The Crying Philosopher and the Laughing Philosopher
    Hard Food
    Aunt Ann
    The Liberator Speaks
    At the Keswick Museum
    Bam Chi Chi La La: London, 1969
    Apollo Double Bill
    I Buy My Son a Reed
    I Saw Charles Mingus
    Lorna Goodison was born in Jamaica, and has won numerous awards for her writing in both poetry and prose, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Musgrave Gold Medal from Jamaica, the Henry Russel Award for Exceptional Creative Work from the University of Michigan, and one of Canada’s largest literary prizes, the ... read more
    Awards won by Lorna Goodison Winner, 2019 The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry Winner, 2018 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for Poetry
    Praise for Lorna Goodison 'The humble and humbling quality of Goodison's poems has been bedded in a sorrow that is also an exuberance, as if neither can survive without the other. When she uses a striking metaphor, it seems just to have occurred to her, driven by deftness of perception rather than the pressure and labor of invention... Goodison's poems display what we should always look for, a new way of looking at the world. And a fresh way of speaking it.'

    William Logan, The New Criterion

    'Goodison sheds light on how sharing stories helps us make sense of our world while illuminating the under-explored multitudes that shape it.'

    Robyn Fadden, Montreal Review of Books 

    'Mother Muse is a multiple goddess: while the collection sounds like, and oft en is, a rhapsodic celebration centred on brave, gifted and nurturing females,Goodison's idea of the muse is more complex than that.'
    Carol Rumens, The Poetry Review

    'Her female characters spring from the page, speaking in perfect pitch'

    Martina Evans, Irish Times Books of the Year 2021

    '...a major voice in Caribbean poetry' 

    Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian Review Roundup

    'A passionate, political collection... Goodison speaks out for future generations'

    The Poetry Book Society Summer Bulletin

    'A Caribbean and international great.'
    Jeremy Poynting, Managing Editor of Peepal Tree Press, Guardian Best Books of 2017

    'The collected works of the recently appointed Jamaican poet laureate is an endlessly moving and rewarding...Four decades of insight and honesty are gathered in some 600 pages of rich, often fabular verse' Financial Times on Collected Poems
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