a genealogy of resistance-m.nourbese philip

this is another blessing of the memento kind. i heart poets.

“The poet must, often uneasily, often tentatively, find her own unique answer to the question of place, be it through language, through connectedness with a particular geographical locale, or through an understanding and acceptance of a particular historical experience. There is even the possibility of possessing a land or a place imaginatively-in the manner in which Australian Aborigines are said to possess their land. As poets we often create and dwell each within our own spirit country.” (67)

“But always in performance is the completion of poetry. Without it poetry is the sound of one hand clapping.” (118)

June 26

Fiction is about telling lies, but you must be scathingly honest in telling those lies.

Poetry is about truth-telling, but you need the lie-the artifice of the form-to tell those truths.” (141)


One thought on “a genealogy of resistance-m.nourbese philip

  1. legacy’s labour:

    “As if we are all somehow uncomfortable in these names; wearing them like strange and foreign clothes that generation after generation we keep changing and adjusting for a better fit.” (21)

    “Some people were born writing, some achieve writing and some have writing thrust upon them. My belonging is to the last group, coming slowly to accept the blessing and yoke that is writing; with so doing I have come upon an understanding of language-good-english-bad-english english, Queenglish and Kinglish-the anguish that is english in colonial societies.” (42)

    “That language now bears the living linguistic legacy of a people trying and succeeding in giving voice to their experience in the best and sometimes only way possible. The havoc that the African wreaked upon the English language is, in fact, the metaphorical equivalent of the havoc that coming to the New World represented for the African. Language then becomes more than a distillation, it is the truest representation, the mirror /i-mage/ of the experience.” (49)

    “It would be the overseers, the lesser sons of lesser sons-those who could do no better-who would settle these islands as Europeans.” (60)

    “As with most writers, an issue chooses you-in my case it was language-and you are then condemned to come at it from all different angles, but essentially it is the same issue that continues to plague and haunt you as long as you write.” (131)

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