New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811214483, 473pp.
Publication Date: August 27, 2001
The original three volumes, Mother Poem, Sun Poem, and X/Self (1977, 1982, and 1987, Oxford University Press), widely recognized as crucial to Kamau Brathwaite's work, have long been unavailable in the U.S. Ancestors, which completely revises the trilogy, rediscovers Barbados -- the place, its history and ethos -- as well as the poet's family and childhood. With its "Video Sycorax" typographic inventions and linguistic play, Ancestors liberates both the language and the new-Caliban vision of the poet. In its new and more experimental form the trilogy embodies the recapture (what the poet has called the "intercovery") of Brathwaite's African/Caribbean ancestry as a possession of power and renewal, even as it plumbs the deep tonalities of enslavement, oppression, and colonial dispossession.