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By Laurence A. Breiner

This creation to West Indian poetry is written for readers making their first method of the poetry of the Caribbean written in English. It bargains a accomplished literary historical past from the Twenties to the Eighties, with specific realization to the connection of West Indian poetry to eu, African and American literature. shut readings of person poems provide precise research of social and cultural matters at paintings within the writing. Laurence Breiner's exposition speaks powerfully in regards to the defining forces in Caribbean tradition from colonialism to resistance and decolonization.

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As in North America, the Depression of the 1930s saw a noticeable shift of interest from idealizing folklore to social realism (and from rural to urban settings). This was reflected by a corresponding shift in the dominant medium: while the movement began in poetry, after 1930 its best work was in fiction. Researches into peasant life advocated by Indigenism were also a factor here; increasingly accurate accounts of folk culture made picturesque or idealizing poetry less acceptable, while at the same time they inspired more ethnographic novels.

By the bizarre geometry of colonialism, London was the center of the West Indies; there is no physical center to the region but empty sea, and local nationalisms have strained against establishing a center of any higher order. Hence the failure on the political and economic planes of Federation. " For him, a sense of shared enterprise was what could give West Indian poetry strength, and as an example of what could be possible he cited 7 8 An Introduction to West Indian Poetry the work of George Campbell, Roger Mais, and other Jamaican writers associated with the literary journal Focus and the Peoples National Party (PNP) of Norman Manley in the 1940s.

After the World War I these obstacles were gone, but by then a different sort of movement, more local in its goals, had preempted the attention of Haitian intellectuals. The chief catalyst for the inward-turning of Haitian attention was military occupation by the United States. Motivated at first by the need to secure the newly completed canal in wartime, the occupation extended from 1915 until 1934. The insult was exacerbated by the preoccupation of France with war on its own soil. But the strain was greatest after the war, and the installation of a Haitian president in 1930 brought only limited relief.

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