Postcolonial Poetry in English

By Rajeev S. Patke | Go to book overview

6
The settler countries

Overview

The earliest poets to use English outside Britain came from the settler regions of the British Empire. Regional traditions grew in self-confidence as the strings that attached settlements to Britain became attenuated. Poets and critics from North America, Australia, New Zealand, and white South Africa do not generally see their poetic traditions as part of the narrative of postcolonial poetry. Their view of the national literature recognizes a colonial period, but rarely uses 'postcolonial' to refer either to the period or the processes that show political self-rule translated by writers into cultural self-confidence. Yet the development of local traditions in the settler countries depended on struggling to overcome colonial dependency long after political autonomy was accomplished. Their path to literary self-confidence ran roughly parallel, but prior, to the processes of cultural decolonization in non-settler colonies. A comparative view of developments in the settler countries thus contributes significantly to a broad-based account of postcolonial poetry in English.


6.1 Writing region and nation

I like thee Canada; I like thy woods
[…]
Thy Seasons too, when Nature can imprint her
Steps on the green—but the deuce take thy Winter.

George Longmore, 'Canada'

-130-

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Postcolonial Poetry in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures i
  • Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • Part I - Introduction 1
  • 1: Poetry and Postcoloniality 3
  • 2: Back to the Future 29
  • Part II - The Development of Local Traditions 53
  • 3: South Asia and Southeast Asia 55
  • 4: The Caribbean 80
  • 5: Black Africa 105
  • 6: The Settler Countries 130
  • Part III - Case Studies: Voice and Technique 157
  • 7: Minoritarian Sensibilities 159
  • 8: Techniquesofself-Representation 180
  • 9: Recurrent Motifs: Voyage and Translation 207
  • 10: After the 'Post-' 237
  • References 240
  • Index 259
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