RIVER DANCER New Poems by Ian McDonaldProduct no.: HP190
The extraordinary poems in Ian McDonald’s new collection emerged as “blood emerges from a cut vein”. So the author describes the process of writing them in his Preface. This is his sixth collection of poems in a literary career which has gradually gained strength and recognition over the years. In his 80s, his creativity, far from diminishing, in this book reaches a new level of interest and inspiration. In this late flowering of new poems Ian McDonald has added a significant dimension to his work. The poems describe a full range of his experiences of love, sadness, family, ordinary people and their troubles and triumphs, the places he has known and loved and above all his wife’s garden and the great Essequibo river, the joys and bereavements and mysteries we all encounter, the daily wonders of his long life. A special dimension of the poems is the love he wishes to express for his wife, Mary. As he writes, “She has for long been a large part of my life. How does one convey plainly what means nearly everything? What would a red thing be without the red? Length and breadth measured without depth? I am sad that a time must come soon enough when I will die and leave her. That distils some of the poetry, even those poems not about her. I want her to know what I have felt, that does not die. The poetry gives shape to nothingness. I see her now, dancing by the river we love.”
River Dancer is an important addition to Ian McDonald’s work and a noteworthy contribution to Guyanese/Caribbean poetry.