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The poems by Lorna Goodison are different than the poems we have read by other poets. Not only are they different in theme, but the author chose to write in an accent, which is not a style found often. This distracts the reader, but it brings an interesting point of view for the characters. It is almost like you are talking to a person with this accent face-to-face. Her poem, “Always Homing Now Soul Toward Light” was my favorite poem in this collection. It is about the “light” that is always near, the good always around the corner. This poem relates to the tragic past of Jamaica and Lorna Goodison is passionate about portraying it. The dark past of the country started off with Christopher Columbus and his enslavement of the natives, then the English attack in 1655, and then the slave trade in 1739 for Indigo, tobacco, and cocoa. Lorna focuses on the history of the people in Jamaica and in most of her poems there are lines that still contain the accent.

“Always homing now soul toward light,

Want like wings beating

Against the hold-back of dark.”

In this section, one can tell that there is a hint of the Jamaican accent in the writing. This poem, in particular, represents the hope that good will rise from the tragic life they had been living. “Wanting like wings beating/against the hold-back of dark.” these lines represent the want for a happy or more joyful time and not of being oppressed and forced into slavery. Lorna Goodison uses the accent to bring her poems more characteristics and uses it to help bring her poems to life. Each poem is a story of its own, using a different tone to bring forth a different emotion or image. One of her other poems, “Of Bitterness Herbs,” is supposed to convey the emotion of hatred, or the idea that bitterness will eat you alive, and you become toxic to those around you. “Bitter Herbs grow Luxuriant where the grudgeful crow/dropped its shadow, starting a compost heap of need in you/to spray malicious toxins overall flowers in our rose gardens.” This poem could be directed at the people who have oppressed the Jamaican people throughout history and slavery.

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