Skip to main content
Article
Ritual masking and performed intimacy: the complex 'I' of Edward Kamau Brathwaite's life poem
Life Writing
  • Anne A Collett, University of Wollongong
Document Type
Journal Article
Publication Date
1-1-2009
Abstract

This essay charts the shift in Edward Kamau Brathwaite’s poetic oeuvre from the w/Word of the tribal poet drummer whose ‘I/eye’ is the body through which the peoples of the African diaspora are enabled to see themselves and their history, to work that is more clearly aligned with a personal biography in which the poet might be understood to ‘perform intimacy’- ‘I’ is ‘me.’ The poetry that follows this personal ‘middle passage’ represents a re-visioning and re-vocalisation of public utterance: poems, or bits of poems, that appeared in the earlier volumes as historical or archetypal journeys are re-contextualised as contemporary and personal journeys. The ‘I/eye’ in this most recent work is clearly signalled as the body through which the interdependent biographies of a community and an individual are performed.

RIS ID
23702
Citation Information
Anne A Collett. "Ritual masking and performed intimacy: the complex 'I' of Edward Kamau Brathwaite's life poem" Life Writing Vol. 6 Iss. 1 (2009) p. 97 - 110
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/acollett/29/