Poetry and postcoloniality
For me, the post in post-colonial does not just mean after, it also
means around, through, out of, alongside, and against.
Albert Wendt, Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English since 1980
… a borrowed voice sets the true one
A. K. Mehrotra, 'Borges'
The first section of this opening chapter defines the conditions under which the notion of 'postcolonial poetry'serves a meaningful function in literary and cultural studies. It describes the historical preoccupations and linguistic strategies that constitute the central link between poetry and postcoloniality. It also indicates how the method and organization of this book takes account of some of the pitfalls associated with the term 'postcolonial'. The second section provides a condensed account of the spread of English in the British Isles, and the ambivalence with which this was met from Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The significance of this motif is developed in section 3, which provides a reading of two poems about the relation between Ireland and England. These readings prefigure the analyses in Chapter 2, where the issues surveyed in the first chapter are extended to cultures and societies outside Britain.
Have you no language of your own
no way of doing things