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Turn Thanks POEMS by Lorna Goodison


Turn Thanks POEMS by Lorna Goodison

The lyric energy, compassion, humor, and tenderness that characterize Lorna Goodison's work are once again in evidence in Turn Thanks , her seventh collection. Here the Jamaican poet turns to acknowledge her own ancestors and those of her craft: mother and father, aunts and uncles, Africa, William Wordsworth, Vincent Van Gogh, the Wild Woman. Whether you will receive this letter or not I cannot tell, she writes, Still, I intend to send it ... .


What is perhaps most fascinating in this collection is Goodison's formidable scope and exquisite vernacular style... The book continually surprises with its insistently elegant, spiritual core and crystalline intelligence. - Publishers Weekly This Caribbean-born poet finds comfort in the spirits of her ancestors, whom she conjures in delightful poem after poem - the volume here raises the dead with its Island patois and lilts... Goodison's narratives fly by on lovely rhythms and easy beats. - Kirkus Reviews There is such ripe sensuousness in Goodison's work that it is hard not to wish she published more frequently. But her delicacy and immense aural power would probably dissipate if she wrote more speedily... She begins this book with evocations of her mother and her father, limning the family's strengths and struggles with enduring love but no lack of honesty... What particularly surprises and delights about this book is its movement, in the latter half, into new territory - literally, as Goodison describes her life in the American midwest, how her soul and senses yearn for warmer climes, and how she comes slowly to find a new home in a new land. - Booklist [Poems] reflect Goodison's unfailing lyricism and unique chord as her imagination explores the various dimensions of family, lore, and tradition in intrinsically Jamaican contexts with her sense of origins and gender... Goodison could also be among the finest poets writing today. - Cyril Dabydeen, World Literature Today A wonderful collection of poems about showing gratitude... [Goodison's] lyrical poems ... are tender, caring, and truly life affirming. - Islands An extravagant and beautiful book, satisfying both aesthetic and intellectual concerns by blending the personal and the political almost seamlessly. - Shenandoah ADVANCE PRAISE Goodison's new collection displays the same qualities that have always marked her poetry-a strong sense of the history that lies behind the Caribbean and black present ... and a constant and engaging lyricism that sustains the expression. The new depth of feeling she brings to this collection and the new tonality in her verse ... confirm her status as one of the most significant poetic voices of our time. - F. Abiola Irele, editor of Research in African Literatures Earth, air, fire, water. These poems have all the elements: ground provisions to feed us, a rising flock of Barbary doves for inspiration, the smell of almonds and ambergris rising from the sea and Bob Marley's call to catch a fire... Lorna Goodison's previous books have put her in the rare company of the best in the world; and this is her best book. -J. Edward Chamberlin, author of Come Back to Me My Language: Poetry and the West Indies

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 1999


Lorna Goodison

More books by Lorna Goodison
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University of Illinois Press


112 pages


Poetry by individual poets



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