READ THE WORLD – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Poetry by Debra Providence

As it was difficult to find induvial work by Debra Providence, or any writer from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, I discovered Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean. A poetry collection featuring poems from eight poets who are from Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, St Vincent and St Lucia. This “review” will solely be about Debra Providence’s work.

I liked the fact that before each poet’s work began, there was a photo of the poet and a short bio. These can add some context for the work you’re about to read and in Coming Up Hot there were eight poems by Debra Providence.

These poems are about women and rebirth and a few feature a lot of imagery around nature. The style of poems isn’t consistent. Some rhyme, some are four stanzas long, others have only a word or two per line, hammering the point of them home. It’s an interesting little collection as while the themes of the poems seem quite coherent and some even flow to create a story, the style of poetry varies.

My favourite in this short example of Providence’s work was “Opheliad”. It chronicles how young girls and boys play, how the boy is the aggressor, playing at shooting and killing the girl, and how that can translate to adult romantic relationships. It’s an interesting idea and there’s some effective lines about how girls just want to be loved no matter the potential cost.

I also enjoyed “The Un-Woman Chronicles” as that felt almost like a short story in poetry form. It’s the longest poem by Providence here at ten pages. Most of her other poems were only one or two pages long.

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