Colliding with and confronting The Tempest and postcolonial identity, the poems in Safiya Sinclair's Cannibal explore Jamaican childhood and history, race relations in America, womanhood, otherness, and exile. She evokes a home no longer accessible and a body at times uninhabitable, often mirrored by a hybrid Eve/Caliban figure. Blooming with intense lyricism and fertile imagery, these full-blooded poems are elegant, mythic, and intricately woven. Here the female body is a dark landscape; the female body is cannibal. Sinclair shocks and delights her readers with her willingness to disorient and provoke, creating a multitextured collage of beautiful and explosive poems.


Have I forgotten it—
    wild conch-shell dialect,

Black apostrophe curled
    tight on my tongue?

Or how the Spanish built walls
    of broken glass to keep me out

But the Doctor Bird kept chasing
    and raking me in: This place

Is your place, wreathed in red
    Sargassum, ancient driftwood

Nursed on the pensive sea.
    The ramshackle altar I visited

Often, packed full with fish-skull,
    bright with lignum vitae plumes:

Father, I have asked so many miracles
    of it. To be patient and forgiving,

To be remade for you in some
    small wonder. and what a joy

To still believe in anything.
    My diction now as straight . . .

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