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You /
John Haynes.
imprint
Brigend, Wales : Seren, c2010.
description
78 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781854115171 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
imprint
Brigend, Wales : Seren, c2010.
isbn
9781854115171 (pbk.)
catalogue key
7313496
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry , USA, 2010 : Nominated
Reviews
Review Quotes
The tensions inherent in this are compounded by the cross-cultural nature of the union. The narrator is a white British man and his wife was born and raised in Nigeria. Exploring a partnership based on culturally quite different and in some aspects painfully incompatible - conceptions of 'love', the poem is knit together by philosophical theme of 'I' and 'you' seen from many perspectives. The Nigeria where the couple met is re-created with great sensitivity. Amidst the joy of their early love, we meet a number of characters in the African extended family and village and trace the early mission education of 'You', the death of her father, her family's strongly felt Christianity. The narrator observes and embraces both the harsh facts and the undeniable beauty of the northern Nigerian setting. A 'new' life in Britain offers its own contrasts and problems: exposure to racism, unfamiliar customs, homesickness, cold weather. The bringing up of children in a strange culture adds another thread of complexity to the theme of love. Much love poetry is based in the threat to that love, and in this long poem it is a threat that arises from the potential for misunderstanding posed by two kinds of love, one derived from 'romantic' courtly love, the other from communal values in the homestead, the hoe and the cooking fire. Written in an adaptation of a traditional 'Rhyme Royal' stanza used by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Auden and Yeats, Haynes nevertheless writes in beautifully clear English vernacular and this poem, set out in sections of three stanzas, flows unbroken from beginning to end.
This new work by John Haynes is another full-length poem (like his 'Costa' Award winning Letter to Patience ) but this is a love poem to his Nigerian wife, Afiniki Kyari. As in Letter to Patience , he recalls very vividly the life of the Nigerian town and village he knew while teaching there. He also refers to the life of his wife and her family before and after his time, imagining, empathising but knowing there are experiences that he cannot know. This leads on to a recurring philosophical theme of 'I' and 'you' - the sense of a separate individual; the limits of understanding even between man and wife. He also explores the different assumptions Europeans and Africans may bring to 'love' and what that means to a relationship between them. Letter to Patience was written in terza rima ; this poem is in Rhyme Royal (but often with half-rhymes rather than full rhymes), a form with a history in English love poetry but also used by Chaucer for philosophical subjects. The form, though very important in giving the poet limits and structure within which to exercise his 'cunning', is never obtrusive. Indeed, the poem's long, sometimes rambling sentences seem very spontaneous and conversational, their shape best understood when read aloud.Afiniki's voluntary exile in England is sensitively portrayed, as is the divided heritage of their children and his own love of her former home:'You are the only / Africa your son has got.'...'Your children are your exile too.'...;'And they'll go back, as foreigners, to gaze / at graves'...;'the house my spirit comes to still, again,Where it was happier than anywhereAnd melts awhile into its gorgeous air.'Occasionally there are just too many things going on at once, or too sudden a jump from one subject to another, but, on the whole, it is tightly woven, touching and a very thoughtful, honest exploration of how much you can and can't know another person, or understand lives whose backgrounds have been very different.Caroline ClarkIt is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com , with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com , trwy ganiat'd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
This new work by John Haynes is another full-length poem (like his 'Costa' Award winning Letter to Patience) but this is a love poem to his Nigerian wife, Afiniki Kyari. As in Letter to Patience, he recalls very vividly the life of the Nigerian town and village he knew while teaching there. He also refers To The life of his wife and her family before and after his time, imagining, empathising but knowing there are experiences that he cannot know. This leads on to a recurring philosophical theme of 'I' and 'you' - the sense of a separate individual; the limits of understanding even between man and wife. He also explores the different assumptions Europeans and Africans may bring to 'love' and what that means to a relationship between them. Letter to Patience was written in terza rima; this poem is in Rhyme Royal (but often with half-rhymes rather than full rhymes), a form with a history in English love poetry but also used by Chaucer for philosophical subjects. The form, though very important in giving the poet limits and structure within which to exercise his 'cunning', Is never obtrusive. Indeed, The poem's long, sometimes rambling sentences seem very spontaneous and conversational, their shape best understood when read aloud. Afiniki's voluntary exile in England is sensitively portrayed, As is the divided heritage of their children and his own love of her former home: 'You are the only / Africa your son has got.'... 'Your children are your exile too.'...; 'and they'll go back, As foreigners, To gaze / at graves'...; 'the house my spirit comes to still, again, Where it was happier than anywhere and melts awhile into its gorgeous air.' Occasionally there are just too many things going on at once, or too sudden a jump from one subject to another, but, On the whole, it is tightly woven, touching and a very thoughtful, honest exploration of how much you can and can't know another person, or understand lives whose backgrounds have been very different. Caroline Clark It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatÂd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
This item was reviewed in:
Guardian UK, January 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A collection of poetry by John Haynes.
Main Description
A lengthy poem celebrating the British author's marriage to a Nigerian woman, this narrative is a meditation on love on both a personal and communal level. As it knits together the philosophical theme of "I" and "you," this remarkable poem expresses the inherent tensions of the union and observes both the harsh facts and the undeniable beauty of the northern Nigerian setting. Touching on various topics--including exposure to racism, unfamiliar customs, homesickness, cold weather, religion, and death--this sensitive account provides insight into differing cultural perceptions and the meanings of love.
Main Description
Casgliad o gerddi John Haynes.
Main Description
Cyfres o gerddi gan John Haynes. Mae teitl y gyfrol yn cyfeirio at gymar y bardd, sydd wedi bod yn wraig iddo am nifer o flynyddoedd, ac mae'r llyfr yn dathlu eu cariad a'u hymrwymiad i'w gilydd. Ond mae hefyd yn adlewyrchu cariad y tu hwnt i ffiniau'r teulu, i'r gymuned ehangach, ac ar draws y byd.
Main Description
You is the new book-length long poem by Costa award-winning poet, John Haynes. The 'You' of the title is the narrator's partner, wife of many years, and the book is not just a celebration of and meditation on personal love and devotion, but a record of how such love moves out of a family and is refracted out into the community and the wider world.
Main Description
You is the new book-length long poem by Costa-Award winning poet, John Haynes. The 'You' of the title is the narrator's partner, wife of many years and the book is not just a celebration of and meditation on, personal love and devotion, but a record of how such love moves out of a family and is refracted out into the community and the wider world.

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