Item description for Mi Revalueshanary Fren by Linton Kwesi Johnson & Russell Banks...
"The man writes some of the most moving poetry to be found in popular music."-David Bowie in Vanity Fair
"His observations are the rich fruits of both a lyrical childhood on a Jamaican farm, and his bottled anger on the streets of London. During his teenage years in Brixton, Johnson witnessed serial episodes of racial abuse and joined the Black Panthers movement in protest. There, he learned his history and culture, but found his own outlet."-Caroline Frost, BBC Four
Linton Kwesi Johnson is the most influential black poet in Britain. The author of five previous collections of poetry and numerous record albums, he is known worldwide for his fusion of lyrical verse and reggae. Much of his work is written in the street Creole of the Caribbean communities in which he grew up in England. Mi Revalueshanary Fren includes all of his best-known poems, which concern racism and politics, personal experience, philosophy, and the art of music, among other things.
Contains a full-length CD of Johnson reading.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher Ausable Press
ISBN 1931337292 ISBN13 9781931337298
Availability 0 units.
More About Linton Kwesi Johnson & Russell Banks
Linton Kwesi Johnson is known and revered as the world's first major dub poet. A committed performer, his recordings span two decades, the most recent album being LKJ A Capella Live. His poems first appeared in Race Today and were quickly followed by three publications, Voices of the Living and the Dead (1973), Dread Boat and Blood (1975) and Inglan Is a Bitch (1980). His most recent publication is Tings an' Times: Selected Poems (1991).
Reviews - What do customers think about Mi Revalueshanary Fren?
Palliticks ar the vowels `i,' `a,' and `e' Feb 12, 2008
Linton Kwesi Johnson's work, My Revalueshanary Fren, beats with the rhythm of reggae and dub but rocks with the non-stop thrum of the real, down-to-earth, local politics of Afro-Caribbean life in urban "Ingland." Is it coincidence that Johnson chooses to rework the first letter and first vowel of the place name of his own personal diaspora? No, because Johnson's poetry is so local and personal that the "I-" shouts to be heard and the "In-" is the inclusiveness that the narrative voice demands, repeating "we are here to stay/inna Ingland/inna disya time yah . . . / (p. 23).
The repetition of the "in" sound makes the reader hear that Johnson is in England and yes, to stay. Johnson uses the sound and inflection of this initial vowel to convey purely political intention, not an easy task since a listener can easily miss the poetry amidst the sheer brutality of the events he recants in "Five Nights of Burning."
Another initial vowel sound that he employs is the use of the letter `a." Few other words delineate a Jamaican voice from another Carib voice than the way the simple preposition `or' is pronounced, and written by Johnson, as "ar." This hard, clipped semi-guttural usage of the letter a contrasts with the soft o sound of the long double `aa' of `waaking' or the softer, often used `pan.' These two words do not connote political overtones but rather infuse the poems with the melody of street voice, providing a much-needed counterbalance to the "showah every howah" of "people powah" (p. 67).
As the street voice blends with the politicized, the sections of the book meld. The sometime melancholy narrative of the last section reads as milder ballast against the shower of rage in the previous sections, notwithstanding the litany of fallen heroes in "Liesense Fi Kill." However, the power of Johnson's word-play to still polemicize in this more ruminant section is apparent by the addition of the letter `e.' Official proclamations surrounding these `sus' deaths turn the government's own use of the word `suspicion' upon itself, accentuating the `lie."