Citation
Kyk-over-Al

Material Information

Title:
Kyk-over-Al
Uniform Title:
Bim
Portion of title:
Kyk over Al
Portion of title:
Kyk
Portion of title:
Kykoveral
Creator:
British Guiana Writers' Association
Kykoveral (Guyana)
Place of Publication:
Georgetown Guyana
Publisher:
s.n.
Publication Date:
Frequency:
Two no. a year
semiannual
regular
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v. : ; 23 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Guyanese literature -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Caribbean literature (English) -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Genre:
review ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Guyana

Notes

Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1945?
Dates or Sequential Designation:
-49/50 (June 2000).
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended, 19 -1983.
Issuing Body:
Issued by: British Guiana Writers' Association, 1945-19 ; Kykoveral, 1985-
General Note:
Vol. for Apr. 1986 called also golden edition that includes anthology of selections from nos. 1-28 (1945-1961).
General Note:
Description based on: No. 30 (Dec. 1984); title from cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
12755014 ( OCLC )
86649830 ( LCCN )
1012-5094 ( ISSN )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
Digital Library of the Caribbean

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This item has the following downloads:


Full Text



KIYK-
OVEQF
ovea


No. 23


MAY, 1958

Greatness and Bitterness'
Letters by :- A. J. Senymour. Peter Andersen. Frank Thonmason
& others.


Out, Out the Fire --
On Writing History --
Six Poems --
The Dancer --
Poems --


.. Martin Carter
..Allan Young
Milton Williams
Jacqueline de Weever
.Reviews
Fifty Cents


YwLerrar~F
~--------


j-<









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KYK.OVER-AL


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KYK.OVER-AL


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KYK.OVER-AL


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KYK.OVER-AL


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KYK-OVER-AL


Comment.

The theme of Greatness and Bitterness hung on the peg of
Yeats' poem is one of the main items of this issue. I hope that the
debatelwill continue in the minds of readers after they have read
these letters, and deliberately I have omitted to draw any con-
clusions.


I wish to draw attention to the wealth of poetic imagery
implicit in the religious customs of the East and coming out in the
poems of Milton Williams whose work I welcome warmly here.
From New York Jacqueline de Weever sent her tale and from
London Joy Allsopp sent her review of the latest Mittelholzer
novel, while at home Allan Young tells us of the urges that moved
him to write his forth coming book and Martin Carter contributes
an extract from one of his long short stories. Good Fare.


A. J. S.
















Vol. 8 No. 23


Comment
Poem for Princess Margare

Six Poems
I Wifeless; Sometimes
Here there's a War O0
Iron Punts Laden with


KYK-OVER-AL

Edited by

A. J. SEYMOUR.


May, 1958.
Fifty Cents


Contents Page

A. J. S.
t .. Ivan G. Van Sertima ..

Milton Williams .. 3
a Man ; O Prahalad;
n; Pray for Rain;
SCane.


Poems
First Impression .. W. A. McAndrew .. 7
Sun Poem XV .. .. Wilson Harris .. 7
Poem .. .. A. J. Seymour .. 8
Three Petals .. .. A. J. Seymour ..
Muse Without Music ,. Ivan G. Van Sertima 9
Volcano .. .. Ivan G. Van Sertima ..
Lines on a Little Girl Drowned Alex. Best ..
In the Cavern of My Blood .. Alex. Best 12
The Falling Leaf .. .. Alex. Best ..

Greatness and Bitterness 14
Correspondence; A. J. Seymour; Peter Andersen;
Martin Carter ; Jocelyn D'Oliveira ; J. G. ;
Wilson Harris; Frank Thomasson; J.A.E.Y.
The Dancer .. .. Jacquelene de Weever .. 27
On Writing History-An Administrative View.. Allan Young .. 3

Life and Death (A Dialogue) .. Ivan G. Van Sertima .. 35

Out Out the Fire .. .. Martin Carter .. 37
Reviews
Kyk-Over Anthology of W.I. Poetry .. L. Keates 43
Kaywana Blood by Edgar Mittelholzer .. Joy Allsopp .. 46


Contributions and all letters should be sent to the Editor "Kyk-
Over-Al", 2,3, North Road, Bourda, Georgetown, British Guiana,







KYK-OVER-AL


Ivan G. Van Sertima.

POEM FOR PRINCESS MARGARET

When you see us
standing in the streets
shouting as you pass,
waving a forest of limbs
in the spontaneous frenzy of the massive welcome
know that we love you, our princess,
know that our Guiana's
one with the brotherhood
webbing the far-flung fragments of the grand empire.

When you hear the murmurous rumble of our drums,
see us dancing the wild dance,
screaming our bronze throats dry,
tumbling to the tortuous rhythms of the tempestuous
calypso
know joy intense in us
is moving, incensing us
joy at your nearness, our princess,
joy at your coming.

When you see us
massing in the streets
thronging round your car,
gazing on your face,
know that we hunt for the golden glimmer
half-hidden in the jungle of your auburn hair:
know that it makes us remember
the long lost golden city
half-hidden in the jungle of our ancient hope.
know when we look into the blue interior of your eyes
we shall see the blue main
o'er which the galleons of Sir Walter Ralegh rode,
tempting a trek of bold empire-builders,
transplanting here new visions and a culture:
turning our idle swamp and forest patch
into town, plantation, settlement, and village.







KYK-OVER-AL


know that as we stand here in the streets
basking in the ivory brilliance of your gracious
smile
we shall be looking back across the centuries
and from the carib altars of our heart
offering a silent prayer:
not only for the language that we speak,
but for the laws and institutions,
the customs and traditions that we cherish,
your nation's legacy
and our heritance
our mutual treasure and possession.

So when you see us
standing in the streets,
waving when you pass
adding our joyous cries
to the tumultuous thunder of the glorious welcome.
Know that we love you, our princess,
know that our Guiana's
one with the brotherhood,
webbing the far-flung fragments of the grand empire.








KYK-OVER-AL


Six Poems by Milton Williams

I WIFELESS

In the afternoon when there are
no songs in the air, in the dull
grey afternoon when the sky's in shroud
And people to their houses withdraw
To fire up the silences with fermented-brew.
And men cuddle to their wives
In the same strange ancient way, I, Wifeless
And she husbandless, the Indian girl
with the big red cherry for face,
the girl that moved me to Oh!
Prahalad, stood by her window,
her cherry-coloured face
more illumined in the dull afternoon.
She smiled and her teeth were balls of
white clouds amongst purple tinged ones.
She waved, a compulsion for me
To realise her cognizance of me.
She spoke words,
Words that from across the silences
Pitter-pattered
Like the music of rainfall on zinc sheets:
That lighted me up like fermented brew:
Transforming the dull grey songless
afternoon into one of birds'
and sun's music.







SOMETIMES A MAN

Do you inquire of me stranger?
Because you always see me staring in the blue
Because you always see me in raptures with my visions
Do you inquire who I am and what I want to be?
I will tell you then, stranger,
I will tell you
Even though I never told my mother
Even though I never told my father
I will tell you.







4 KYK.OVER-AL
Sometimes a man, like my own father
With six, or even nine children,
Gets a whole fourteen dollars-a-week.
And he has to pay rent, stranger,
He has to eat food
He has to wear clothes,
His children have all got to go to school.
And they
Then they grow up
Must endure the same, suffer mutely, or rebel.
They, when they grow up,
Will graduate out of suffering
Into more suffering.

So stranger
This is why
You always see me staring in the blue,
This is why
You always see me in raptures with my visions
Because,
The shrine of my heart
Longs only for the beautiful things man is capable of,
To prevail over all the earth.

Each time I see my people
At labour in the fields, factories, offices.
Each time I see the whore in despair
Barter her body for survival:
I am determined to be like a crow:
To fly as high
And cleanse the land.







KYK.OVER-AL


OH! PRAHALAD DEDICATED DAY
On the eve of this, Prahalad Dedicated Day,
Abeer drench'd you come to me, Oh Indian girl
With your face and hands all turned crimson,
With the previous colour of your dress
undistinguishable,
And all your form reverberating an atmosphere of
festivity.
You come and you sit and you sing for me, playing on the
jaal!
The golden sound of your voice sending sweet stinging
darts to my heart
Then leaving it in exquisite jets clothed on wings of
delight
The very voice felled star-apples and sapodillas from
their trees,
The very voice ripenedthe cherries and gooseberries all
around.
I took you and placed you under the cherry tree
On its crest a red breast was warbling her song.
Oh the sacredness of the sight!
I dare not utter a word to you
For suddenly it came upon me like the wind ruffling the
trees
This was the very meaning of "Phagwah."

HERE THERE'S A WAR ON
Here there's a war on.
Not like the war that stalked London:
Clouding it in sheets of angry dark smoke
Crumbling its buildings with rock-like hails
Driving pink and white temporal travellers
Into the impregnable walls of air-raid shelters,
Leaving a waste of tears desolation and broken hearts
Implanting in the minds of youth in their formative
years
The bitter misery of the bitter horror!
No!
But a war rages here.
A war waged by tanned men in defiance
Dooming them to be condemned for their rebellion
Churning into ashes their miserable dreams and
ambitions
Leaving them like trees shed of their green branches
To endure stoic-like perpetual horror of the
buzzard-like elements,
Or else, to fall, bewildered stragglers on the side line
of life.







KYK-OVER-AL


PRAY FOR RAIN

In seasons of drought the dry land cracks
Leaves turn from green to pale yellow.
On streets the asphalt reflects
The furious energy of its crystalled-burden.
It is seasonal," the people say,
"Pray for rain."
Drought is not only an affectation
By nature to men and crops!
It is the living lie of all of us:
Young men green-vitalled
In industry
Withering to absurd anonymities....

O comrades, perpetual drought is our heresy!
Like garbage on the downheap
We are piled: forced to exhaust
Ourselves, be divested of all our purity,
Crack, decay, and burn.



IRON PUNTS LADEN WITH CANE

Iron puns laden with cane
Come gracefully like pregnant women into harbour.
Iron punts laden with cane
Make me see strong tanned men
Labouring under the sun's invigoration:
If blood instead of sweat could flow
It would rain from their backs -
And if ever life through over labour
Surrendered its mortal clay
It would theirs







KYK-OVER-AL


W. A. Mc.Andrew
FIRST IMPRESSION
In and out among the souls
who had crossed the river
she came floating towards me -
a dark wraith of a woman
whose mode of progression was
not so much a walk
as a titillating suppleness of hips......
I was aware as she passed me only
of a wrist flexed in fragility
a crown of curls like saman flowers
with the same Lethe of perfume
the dark mark that Love left and
eyes which looked without seeing
and without speaking made it
clear that she had set out to see
life and seen too much.....
Then she was gone
gliding down the sidewalk
like a humming-bird
flitting with a whirring of wings
in the interval between
saman trees........
Wilson Harris
SUN POEM XV
Blue is the journey I long to go
White is the gate I open
to show
the sun my face.
Brown is the road that leads to space
where the sky falls down like the highest
hill.
Dark is the river
where green trees sail,
where nothing learns to stand quite still
on the visionary road across the hill.
Lofty is the spirit that waves on high
Like a flag of wind that is flown awry:
it is visible now to my naked eye
to my naked eye and my naked mind -
the flag blows out and the wind blows in -
they are one and the same like flesh and
skin.
My wood and my bone are burnt in the sun
I wave like smoke, crackle like gun
March to meet the starry ground
Where the camps are lit and the spirits sound
Their bugles for burning bone and tongue.







KYK-OVER-AL


A.J. Seymour
POEM
Oh Light
You vast primeval word
You gave the eyes
For You the rose's red
Leaps from the night
And You transluce from dark
The pearl of dawning.
You scrawl
The circling alphabet of the stars.
You daze the lovers' eyes
With inner stars of ecstasy
Your seeing clasps all lovers' heart beats
And You link and seal
The beauty of the world
You looked on Mary
You uttered Him within the womb
And in one great event
Your meaning sears
The page of Time
The dead God sagging in love upon the tree.

A. J. Seymour
THREE PETALS
Seal the door, quench the light,
Prudent housewife, it is night.
Cave, or Greek or Latin homestead,
Or bungalow opposite in Church Street,
The duty is ageless.

Where neck and the shoulder join
Above the line of attire
The body will yield perfume
If the lover will breathe desire

O body, yield perfume,
My heart is quick with desire.

O Sleep
Handmaid to the stars
Laying your soft dew on men's minds
To make them a child again.
Come to me with images
Borrowed from her
That I may couch with thoughts
Laid aside with her dress.







KYK-OVER-AL


Ivan G. Van Sertima

MUSE WITHOUT MUSIC
(the poet in search of a tongue)

Last night while the world slept,
I came down to the sea,
lured by the mounting call of an inner music:
Down to the sea,
down to the sea I came,
through the tunnelled lanes of the brain's grey
city,
through the million streets of the mind's dark
maze,
to the sea I came,
searching for a voice, searching for a voice.

Last night while the world dreamt,
I came down to the sea,
I could not sleep though I was in search of a dream.

Time has etched a million wave-marks,
like a mosaic of wrinkles
upon the sand-face of my soul:
And I come down to my sea in the long dark nights,
looking at the waves, looking at the sands,
searching for a voice, searching for a voice.

A million waves, unthawed,
gush from the frozen channels of forgotten time,
vomiting the silt of my past,
Flooding my sands with the fossils
of two sepulchred decades of the heart's dark
history:

And I come down to the seas of my soul,
taking the living plastic into my hands,
warm with the vital essence of a million hours,
trying to mould,

out of the ten thousand faces and places,
voices and images,
forms and fancies,
thoughts and impressions,
a voice for the soul's release
and total revelation.







KYK-OVER-AL


I have gone down like this
to the oceans of men,
sounding their depths,
forging a link to my spirit,
with the echoes that ring out from the deep dark hollows
within them:

But their songs have not quenched me,
their tongues do not speak me,
their patterns are alien to the webwork I seek
And I must still go down to my sea in the long dark
nights,
searching for a voice, searching for a voice.

Would that the flame of my thought
fanning so faintly now over the far waters,
may from a flicker foment,
flare to a furious force,
full to a fountain of fire,
and from the fevering ferment of forms,
forge me a frame,
fording the fathomless!

Would that the voice that I seek
could like the winds of my soul
breathe me a music
milked in the multi-mooded murmurings of the
mighty spirit!
A voice, broad and deep,
broad and deep like the river of time itself,
bearing upon the sensitive stream of its subtle symphony
all the vague and vivid etchings
that the waves have made.







KYK-OVER-AL


VOLCANO

Ivan G. IVan Serthina

When I speak now
there are no urgent rumblings in my voice
no scarlet vapour issues from my lips
I spit no lava:
but I am a volcano
an incandescent cone of angry flesh
black brimstone broils within
the craters of my being.
When I speak now
no one can hear me
the thunder lies too deep too deep
for violent cataclysm:
My heat
is nothing but a memory now:
My cry
a terror of the long forgotten:
Time heaps high snow upon my passive flanks
and I stand muted with my furnace caged
too chilled for agitation.
But mark me well
for I am still volcano
I may disown my nature, my vesuvian blood,
so did my cousin Krakatoa
for centuries locked his fist within the earth
and only shook it when his wrath was full
and died to rock the world.
So, mark me well
pray that my silence shall outlive my wrath
for if this vomit ventures to my lips again
old orthodoxies village on my flanks
shall face the molten magma of my wrath
submerge and perish.






KYK.OVER-AL


Alex. Best.
LINES ON A LITTLE GIRL DROWNED

There in the sea
by the side of the groyne,
Little girl drowned.

Back into the umbilical cradle
tide-tossed lightly
her bloated body, stiffened, rock-carved
like some old Sumerian figure-
mother-type in embryo-
knows no awakening,
Safely sleeping in sea-sanctuary

Current-guarded, no ebb nor flow will affect
tension of desire and fulfillment
sea changes of fortune
Nor fate blot out.

As silently as stars return to water
In the wake of the churning ship
Life creeps back to its home;
And the Great Sea-Mother fondles
Millions of years in six;
a little girl sleeps
softly swayed by womb-water.


*
Alex. Best.
"IN THE CAVERN OF MY BLOOD"

Dedicated to The Society of African Culture

Centuries of black blood
pulsate my heart
and pound a weird ancestral rhythm
on a soul
stretched across the abyss
between my yesterdays and today-
Drumbeats of words
to twist a shock of recognition;
to awaken ancestral ghosts
and the centuries' madnesses.
In labyrinthian tunnels of my being dark dancers
stamp votive offerings
to stir the ju-ju man....







KYK-OVER-AL


But
I must emerge to rape memory-
If I could withstand the birth-pains-
that this page where
today and yesterday
strain in the sweat of copulative exercise
may deliver my song.

(Around that hallowed mound
Undulating anthropoids dance
in welcome of conception).


*

Alex. Best.
THE FALLING LEAF

The falling leaf gently twists its shape
in vain to veil the sudden sun.
In vain

Death turns the streams
that cleans life's filth
Or the moon's inquisitive eyes hunt hidden lovers
Or distance spread outstretched palms
to impede an inflow of love-

No leaf nor cloud could blot out
the radiance of a half-shy smile
nor death erase memory
nor moon seek out where
hidden caresses cling in hesitant ecstacy.

Love will outdistance distance
To dance together on a star.








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Greatness and Bitterness.
A. J. SEYMOUR

W. B. Yeats in one of his poems asks a question which I
find has been echoing in my mind for years. The question is in
the section on Ancestral Houses in the long poem "Meditations in
Time of Civil War" written in 1923, and the section ends with those
lines:

"What if those things the greatest of mankind
Consider most to magnify or to bless
But take our greatness with our bitterness."

Yeats had spoken of "violent and bitter men who called architect
and artist in, that they, bitter violent men might rear in stone
the sweetness that all longed for night and day. The gentleness
none there had ever known", and he mused "what if these things
take our greatness with our violence". So I ask the question.
Is the artist respected in his community ? Is he respectable by
the community's standards ? Must he not preserve his bitterness
in one form or other if he wants to achieve greatness ?

Traditionally the artist, the poet, the musician, is a rebel.
His role is to place his new vision sharply in contrast with the old
community views. In older societies like the United Kingdom,
there is a considerable body of culture, so the rebel tendencies of the
artist represent a reaction against some established view and move to
modify them. In a young and emerging society like the West Indies
and British Guiana where there is no body or established view,
the rebel tendencies are relatively stark and the murmur arises in
the minds of people "why is the artist so bitter ? It would be more
helpful if he were a nicer person". They don't understand Yeats'
muttered fear of "taking greatness with out bitterness".

Actually I believe that this conflict is a necessary source of the
imaginative life of the artist. Heaven forbid he should be a nice
person, that he should cease to be a rebel. And yet I can see the other
point of view, that the society will move forward best if its prime
movers have balanced minds and temperaments combined with
thrust. This means does it not, that the artist becomes respectable
and is tamed into responsibility.

They say that a pint of practice is worth a gallon of theory.
One mark of the political leader in all times is a gift of phrase
and a talent for the compelling image. In former generations in the
West Indies these abilities served only in literature because of the
restricted political climate. Shall we risk a few examples ? Someone
has pointed to Albert Gomes of Trinidad, a literary figure in the
early thirties who was converted to the more exciting pastime of
politics. What of the latest star in the West Indian political heavens,
Eric Williams, who hammered out the massive literary style of the







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historian and then graduated into political life via extra-mural
lectures in Woodford Square. It was the encouraging political
climate which provided a larger arena for their talents, and their
image-making intelligence work in a more practical field. Or take
the way in which a mind like Philip Sherlock's harnesses itself to the
tremendous job of being unofficial ambassador for the West Indian
University. So many of his speeches owe their bite and their
memorableness to the fact that the man is a poet.

I begin to over simplify here. It seems to me that there is a
type of public figure in our West Indian life based on those literary
qualities, this type is very much in the van, leading the intel-
lectuals of the region, and also catching the imagination of the
masses in the surge towards nationhood. To make a nation, the
leaders must create new values and mirror the society in such
a way that it improves upon itself. The leaders must write the
books to feed the national spirit, and give the young people a sense
of pride.

Like the favourable political climate, the foundation of
the University provided another nursery for leadership and for
the cultivation of minds of the first intellectual rank. The strenuous
discipline of research in academic matters encourages the emergence
of figures like Elsa Goveia, Rawle Farley and Roy Augier. Ac-
cording to the records, Dr. Walter Rankin was the same type of
mind in his field of Latin studies, but the era in which he developed
led his steps so far away from Guiana and the West Indies that
on his return he was almost a stranger, although a legendary one.

But after I have said all this, there still remains the need to
produce and preserve the intellectual who is neither politician, nor
academic figure, and who will be free to act as a responsible yet
critical agent in his society. His role will be, it seems to me, always
to deepen the discussion privately or publicly, always to take the
arguments further so that eternal principles are seen to be involved,
always to suggest in prose and verse, that a new point of view is
possible and that the shell of conformity may be a stifling and
restricting prison we should escape from. His opportunities, to
question community assumptions and to state that they are false or
inadequate will occur in the home, in the club, in the social group,
and in the lecture room. Part of the repressive atmosphere of the
Colonial scene is its intellectual poverty, and one of the main
advances towards independence is the discussion of intellectual
ideas with the assurance of standards of 'judgment and taste';
and the proper marriage of the Genius of the Place with the Human
Spirit.

I've been thinking on the reasons for the intellectual poverty in
a colony and there are one or two more obvious pointers. First of all
generally, there is only a high school education and the leaders of the
community who are born and bred there tend to accept too easily as







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necessary to get by and even hold important office, a superficial grasp
of ideas and a merely functional ability to make things and organ-
isations work. This complacency is apparent to outsiders coming
into the country and recruited in the administrative, commercial
and industrial fields. They have no deep loyalties to the territory so
they work for their living and make the most of the limited means of
recreation and enjoyment available to them. They reason that it
would irk the egoism of th; fairly decent chaps in the territory and
expose their relative inability to answer if any deep intellectual
issues were brought up. So intercourse remains on the level of
triviality.

Then there is the shortage of good up-to-date books, related to
the shortage of potential buyers. People don't read much and if they
do, they borrow from the public library or a friend because there is
financial poverty and a low standard of living. The booksellers do not
risk adventurous orders of titles, and the libraries, quite properly
spend their money on meeting the median range of reading needs
which are largely fiction of the undemanding type.


At the International Conference of Artists held in Venice in
1952, Mr. Taha Hussein of the International PEN Club, in his
address on The Writer in the World Today described the need for
"the secondary profession". He said then, "to expect intellectual
activity to provide its author with the means of subsistence is
merely to stultify it," but warned that it was harmful for the
secondary profession to absorb the writer completely. The writer
must be at the service of truth and truth alone. As Dante described
him, the writer must be always a man going forward through the
darkness with a lantern hanging at his back, lighting the path for
those who come after.

I have started a number of possible lines of thought and
arguments and done that deliberately and I should be glad to
have your views on these things. Let us however, come back to
W. B. Yeats and his bitterness as a possible essential for greatness.
And what is bitterness here? Is it not a quality of vision making
for truth, that the writer will see elements in the community's
present and past life which he will condemn as an angry young man ?
Is he not protesting with vigour the complacency and the crust of
acceptance which his community takes for granted ? Is he not saying
"lets leave the gentleness and the sweetness to others, but my
spirit tells me we've got to change this and forge a new kind of
life?"

In an emerging society such as we find in colonies, there
is much for the young intellectual to be angry and bitter and
violent about. It is this grit that he must take into his oystersoul







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and work into a pearl. He is himself an agent of change and this was
probably one of the thoughts in Yeats' mind as he wrote:

"Oh, what if gardens where the peacock strays
With delicate feet upon old terraces
Or else all Juno from an urn displays
Before the indifferent garden deities!
Oh, what if levelled lawns and gravelled ways
Where slippered Contemplation finds his ease
And Childhood a delight for every sense
But take our greatness with our violence.

What if the glory of escutcheoned doors
And buildings that a haughtier age designed
The pacing to and fro on polished floors
Amid great chambers and long galleries lined
With famous portraits of our ancestors;
What if those things the greatest of mankind
Consider most to magnify, or to bless,
But take our greatness with our bitterness."

*
Peter Andersen
I do not agree that it is the artist's function to rebel, to lead, to
reform, to compromise, to seek greatness or respectability in his
community, or even particularly to think. I do not agree that the
terms "artist" and "intellectual" are the same or are interchangeable.
(Although there are artists who are also intellectuals just as there are
farmers who play cricket.) I don't believe that society is indebted to
the artist, or that the artist is indebted to society.

In fact, I am sorry to say that there is little in your open letter
that I do agree with.

To my way of thinking, the main difficulty comes with this
confusion of the terms artist and intellectual.

I should define the different functions of the artist and the
intellectual in this way:

The artist draws direct from human experience in order to
express himself, or as Martin Carter put it recently, beautifully
succinctly people are the artist's raw material; but the
artist draws no conclusion or points no moral. The intellectual on
the other hand is a step away from humankind. His raw material
is not people-human experience-but human knowledge, and of
course, he does draw conclusions and, quite often, points morals.

The artist is in the midst of life, his ideas are expressed
subjectively; the intellectual is one step in front, one to the right of
life, ideas are expressed objectively.







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It might seem that I consider the intellectual more of a "pro-
ducer" than the artist, but, of course the very opposite in true.
The artist is a creator, the intellectual an empiricist.

You might call the symbol of the intellectual the mind, the
brain the symbol of the artist is the stomach and the sexual organ

So then, the rebel tendencies of the artist, as you describe them
might represent a reaction against some established view, (although
I would not agree that this is always true), but his concern is not to
change or modify that view. His concern is merely to make an
observation about it.

The artist might say, "The tempo of life in the colonies makes
for intellectual poverty," but he will go no further by drawing the
conclusion that intellectual poverty is undesirable. That is for his
fellow human begins to decide. The artist is never
a leader in this sense. Possibly the intellectual is,
for he will certainly draw the conclusion that intellectual
poverty is undesirable and might try to persuade others
that this is so. This might imply that I think the artist and
intellectual work hand in hand, complementing each other's function
but I do not think this is true either. Should the artist form such an
alliance with the intellectual the artist's role changes and he is
then in the position of following up his observations with a con-
clusion i.e. handing the ball over to the intellectual for analysis
and interpretation. (And in case there is any doubt about this,
artists do not produce work for the benefit of critics!)

To make matters worse, the artist intellectual subject of
your open letter later on becomes involved with the politician and
the national leader. Your politician-artist-intellectual-leader "must
create new values and mirror the society in such a way that it
improves upon itself. The leaders must write the books to feed the
national spirit and give the young people a sense of pride."

I would like to say that I reject this attitude completely.
Society has no right whatever to demand any particular form
of expression from the artist any more than the artist has any
right to expect Society to accept the form of expression be has
chosen.

As soon as you start dictating to the artist (or intellectual in this
case) what he should aim at you kill genuine expression. You have
only to see what has happened to art and thought in the USSR and
what is beginning to happen in USA to see the results of the
imposition of a policy of national uplift on the artist.

In any case I do not believe that leaders or politicians to
intellectuals or artists create nations. People and people only creare
nations%







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The same thing is true of the deplorable lack of any but com-
pletely material standards in colonies such as British Guiana.
(Religion seems to be considered sufficient substitute for intellectual
development to most people.) I suggest there is nothing the artist
or the intellectual can do about it except make sure that his intel-
lectual development does not become impaired. Enlightenment can
only come when the people who live in the colonies feel that it is
necessary.

I have gone to some length in attempting to point out what I
consider the differences between the intellectual and the artist
because when the artist who is the bitter subject of the first part of
your argument is separated from the intellectual who is the potential
saviour of society's minds in the second part of your argument, we
seem to be right back where we started.

The artist can help to raise a particular community's cultural
standards simply by leaving his work where it can be seen, read, or
heard regardless of its content. Eventually people will become
accustomed to having the artist's work around, and they will
eventually come to accept standards of truth, beauty etc., because
they are being confronted with statements. Whatever you think of
the relative merits of Rembrandt and Picasso, Cervantes and Eliot,
Beethoven and Sibelius, you cannot deny that their work exists.
The results of the intellectual's endeavours are somewhat different.
To quote one example only, intellectuals have been commenting
on the Bible ever since it was written and we are no nearer
discovering the truth or otherwise of religious philosophy than
we were two Thousand years ago.

I suggest in conclusion that we do not need more leaders-we
have too many already-we need more ordinary members of society
who can do their own thinking and can make their own decisions.
In the meanwhile the artist will always be with us, (if we are allowed
to survive in an atomic age), just as the farmer and the fisherman will
always be with us. I suggest that his role is at least as important,
although not more important than these other useful members of
society.

Martin Carter
In your letter you seem particularly preoccupied with what you
call "bitterness". I see too that you associate "bitterness" with the
"rebel", claiming that the condition of rebellion and bitterness is a
necessary source of the imaginative life of the artist. I don't' know if
I agree altogether. And I am reminded of Thomas Mann's point
about the artist being so much disturbed internally that he some-
times has to make out quite the opposite, externally.

The core of your argument is that the "artist" is a "rebel".
Don't you think we might do better to say that the "artist is an
artist", and then proceed to tell what being an artist means ? This







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idea about the artist being a rebel seems a romantic notion to me, a
notion the philistines love. Because it immediately absolves them
from self-criticism. For when they do in fact encounter an artist,
all they do, with this notion well behind them, is to pretend to be
interested and curious and "cultured" while deep down inside they
tell themselves that this animal is an artist only because he is a
rebel, transferring in this context, whatever suits them to transfer.
Thus they excuse themselves and sink gently back into complacent
limbo.
As I say I feel it might be more fruitful to discuss the artist as
artist. If a given human being is an artist and a rebel, at one and the
same time, then being a rebel is either a consequence of being an
artist, or, it is a parallel situation. On the other hand a person may
very well be a rebel without being anything like an artist. So there-
fore that which goes into the making of a rebel is not necessarily the
same as that which goes into the making of an artist. But by saying
that the artist is a rebel, you are implying the opposite, with which
I strongly disagree.
The other part of your letter deals in a way with the intellectual
atmosphere of the West Indies. You say "part of the repressive
atmosphere of the colonial scene is its intellectual poverty". May I
extend this condition of poverty to everything ? And may I say too
that the job of the artist and intellectual in the West Indies is no
different from the job of the artist and intellectual in every part of the
world. We are concerned always with the human condition and the
establishment of value. Everything is to be taken in the hand and
transformed and given meaning. Other jobs belong to the others.


Jocelyn D'Oliveira
I agree generally, but these points occur to me. I would
divide artists roughly into those who aspire to be the "mirror" of
their society, the extollers of all that is good in it, and the "Con-
science" of their society, those who see the faults in their society in
stark perspective and, perhaps consciously, perhaps not, try to
lead their society on to better things.
As an example of the first type may I suggest Tennyson
(at least the later Tennyson) and Kipling. Were they bitter? Such
artists can be conforming; "nice chaps" in other words. No example
need to be given of the second type, but here again we've got to
watch two special varieties of the "bitter great". First, those who
have a personal grudge against society and pay off their grudge in
vitriol e.g. Swift who, it is said, would have been sweetness itself if
he had got the Bishopric he craved, and Pope whose deformity
made him a laughing-stock. Second: watch out for the poseurs who
cultivate bitterness as the badge of their profession and delight to
"epater les bourgeois" as the French say.
I haven't had time to digest the points you make in regard to the
emerging society, but I'll think about it and we'll talk it over some
time.








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J.G.
In what tradition is the artist, the poet and the musician
traditionally a rebel? Not for instance in the Persian tradition
The Persian miniaturist's vision of the garden is what it always
was the tree, the reclining figures, the running water. The
intermingling of cloud and mountain peaks in a Chinese
landscape transcends any historical situation. This divine
restlessness with what exists, the demoniac urge to create
something always new belongs particularly to Western Europe,
and indeed, to get the time perspective right, is a fairly
recent event. We might say it gets under way with the
Renaissance, and crystallizes into a spirit of revolt about the time of
the French Revolution. The age of revolt is now, in an extended
Western world. If we are to talk of the artist, the poet and the
musician as a rebel, we are conceiving him in this tradition. We are
accepting limitations to our conception imposed by the conditions of
the Western world.

Of course there may be nothing else for it. All prisoners
of our society, we have no choice but to be rebels. But if that is
so, we are in an impasse which is ridiculous. We have to say that
the artist is patterned by the society in which he exists; he conforms,
and at the same time rebels. To escape from the paradox we shall
have to go further. It is not sufficient to say that the statement "the
artist is a rebel" can only be made in the context of the Western
world. Something is said about artists in the Western tradition
they are commonly rebels. But nothing is said which distinguishes
them from politicians, crackpots or businessmen. Some help in
thinking about the problem can be gained from a deeper analysis of
the rebel.

"L'homme revolt" is seldom compounded solely of revolt.
In each expression of rejection there is an assertion. The rebel
is not a maniac whose only joy is in destruction. In the moment
of his protest he asserts that something else (and presumably
something finer) should take the place of what is. In his heart
whilst firing the shot from the barricades, he is a creator. Whether
the artist be rebel or not, the true rebel is usually in a manner of
speaking an artist, because what he really wants is to create. But
the rebel and the artist are not brothers, though they might be found
together on the barricades. They are not interested in the same kind
of creation. The rebel wants to bring the kingdom of heaven onto
earth. The artist divinizes the earth. He takes what he finds around
him, and this may be the stuff of revolt, and transmutes it into
something which satisfies a different kind of laws. His material
exists here and now. He does not create it. He uses what is to
hand. A tree, a man suffering, an emotion or an idea-which he may
borrow from the rebel "de Carriere". These continue to exist and
do not change, under his hand. The tree remains and the man
suffers, continues to suffer, for eternity. The artist puts them into a
new pattern which is made of paint or stone or words








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or sounds, and which is just right, so that the pattern
seems to contain its own justification. The artist has
created a new and permanent way of looking or listening
which is durable. A song or a play may be used to start a national
movement, but that's no concern to the writer as an artist. A
monument may set patriotic blood tingling, but as an artistic
creation is must stand a test of another kind. The writer and the
sculptor are not sociologists or politicians. Their measure is timeless.
The song and the play may last when revolution has become ancient
history, and when the cheek flushed with patriotic pride is chap-
fallen.

In primitive societies a man painting a motto on his boat
might be carpenter, priest and artist all at one time. Later in time.
the boat may cease to be a useful economic tool and the motto
become a meaningless symbol of an outworn creed, yet the pattern
may retain its vigour as art and be active in new creations. In
modern societies the artist has become a specialist, but not to such
an extent that he ceases to be a man politician or priest. He
cannot help but live with other men, eat, drink, share their labours
and problems, but in so far as he is an artist he creates from his
experience something which is no longer reducible to its original
elements. Once the paint is dry, it can no longer be rendered
tractable by mixing it again with oil.

The poet may sing a song of protest, or of sixpence, or record a
paeon of praise. The essence is not the bitterness or the thanks-
giving, but the genius of creation.

The artist, the poet, the musician may be rebels, may well
be rebels in the Caribbean sector of the Western world, but they
need not be. They may also, in the same way, be intellectuals or
leaders though I don't like to think they could be both. A leader
is versed in the ways of the world; he can give guidance to keep his
followers from going astray. "Intellectual" seems to me a word
which has an underlying pejorative meaning. Like the artist he is
removed from hurly-burly; unlike the artist he is remote. The
artist is rich in experience which he transmutes by an act of creation.
The intellectual avoids experience. He does not live so much as
reflect life. He is a mirror, or rather a prism which analyses life into
its separate parts. He does not create. He dissects. A poet may be
wise. But let him rebel fiercely against becoming an intellectual.

Yet in spite of what he is not neither rebel nor leader the
artist does make a contribution to his society. This contribution
stands in its own name. Art is an integral part of culture, is not
present by proxy nor as the agent of economics, religion or politics.
The artist freezes the transient and formless moment into a snow-
flake, thereby creating a pattern which memory preserves. Without
him there would be no certainty the pattern ever was. The artist is
the true chronicler of our suffering and achievement.







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Wilson Harris
Yeats' wonderful "greatness with bitterness" does not, it seems
to me, apply to the rebel. It would apply if rebellion were a part of
fate and loaded with peculiar destiny, as it were, rather than being,
as I understand it, a mere pretence of history. The rebel is very
often an ordinary puritanical person magnified out of all
proportion by superstitions such as the political super-
stition, the moral superstition, caste and race superstitions
Think of the famous Dreyfus case. Dreyfus was a little man, no
hero or anything of the sort. Think of the numerous dictators that
crop up from time to time all over the world, so petty, so mean, so
cruel and still as ignorant as the Haitian Soulogne who ruled his
country for eleven years with incredible violence and cunning.

The artist then in the high fateful sense of "greatness with
bitterness" must not be confused with the rebel in history. The
balance between greatness and bitterness is bound to be struck
sooner or later as sure as the clock strikes and the gong echoes.
Not the drumbeat of rebellion but the heartbeat of fate.

Remember Troy. Father Zeus surveys the scene. It is Hector's
last struggle. The balance is falling against him. A bitter
moment even for Zeus, the father of the gods, who loves
Hector. But that bitterness, the bitterness of death, is
necessary to establish a greatness. The scales fall lower and
lower, and Hector knows he is alone and there is no succour
anymore for him from living men or gods.

The problem that agitates my mind, out of all this, takes a
different murmur and form to that whispering gallery which asks or
seems to ask why is the artist so bitter, why cannot he be a nicer per-
son, why is he so irritable and upset.

What agitates me is not these questions the whispering gallery
asks. It is the burdensome sensibility the individual artist constantly
carries and bears like a scarecrow before the world. Here is no
rebel but a sacrifice and victim. It is almost too comical to be true
the punishment some men inflict on themselves, or allow to be
inflicted upon themselves which transcends by far anybody's
little irritations and murmurs. Comical but true. Give this punish-
ment whatever artistic label you like: the Hunchback of Notre
Dame, the Phantom of the Opera, the Blue Angel, Rimbaud's
'derangement of the senses', Goethe's Faust, Eliot's "Murder in the
Cathedral", Brinnin's "Dylan Thomas", Laocoon and his remark-
able serpents and snakes. Any label you like.

I wonder whether the whispering gallery as it murmurs
of the artist's bitterness would not stop and reflect on the comic
side, the delightful rape, as it were, of human nature which all
are privileged to enjoy even in small doses.







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Frank Thomasson
There appear to be two assumptions running through your
'Open letter to the Intellectual' which should not be accepted
entirely at their face value. One is the linking of the intellectual
with bitterness, and the implication that a real intellectual cannot be
free of bitterness. Strictly speaking, an intellectual is simply a
person of superior mind, that is, someone who, through no fault of
his own, lies towards the upper end of the distribution of intel-
ligence. Such people usually have a number of particular abilities, or
at any rate, have them to a greater degree than their ordinary
fellows. The ability to think more clearly and objectively, to think
through a problem or situation, the ability to handle a larger
number of concepts at one and the same time, the ability to
visualise and create.

Is it not the ability of the intellectual to think with greater
clarity that enables him to strip a situation, or for that matter an
idea or a way of life, of all its frills, convention and tradition, and to
see it stark and unadorned. Perhaps it is the revulsion at what is
left that tends to lead to bitterness.

Since the intellectual begins to submit everything to this
'stripping' process at an early age, he is unlikely to be in a position to
make any active contribution to corrective action, except to talk
about it. The frustration this causes only increases the bitterness.

There are, on the other hand, a considerable number of people
who have an equal degree of intellectual ability, but whose use of it
does not lead to bitterness. Perhaps it leads to impatience instead,
which may be a better basis for action than bitterness. It is possible
that any improvements which result from action by this group are
accredited to the 'bitter ones' simply because they are or make
themselves, more obvious in society.

Is your assumption merely an unfortunate generalisation or are
you in fact saying that a highly intelligent person only becomes 'an
intellectual' when use of his intelligence results in bitterness ?

Is it not possible that bitterness may arise for other reasons ?
The creative ability or at least the creative urge is a feature of the
intellectual mind; however, quite frequently the results of the urge
do not find ready acceptance or reward. Isn't it possible that bitter-
ness may appear simply as a result of the writer, artist, poet finding
that his work is not accepted. And again, in respect of the intel-
lectual's ability to handle larger number of concepts or ideas
than the ordinary man, it may lead to him having difficulty in com-
municating himself to the mass of the people. Only a very small
percentage of the population, consisting of similar 'superior minds',
are likely to be able to understand. Possibly the intellectual often
overlooks this fact, and mistakes the inability to understand for an
unwillingness to understand, and his consequent disappointment
leads to bitterness.







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Finally, in this connection, is it not true that the bitterness is
greatly diminished by the time an intellectual achieves even a
measure of greatness, or even recognition, except perhaps, where the
bitterness has already become a pathological state.

The other assumption is that a writer, an artist, or a poet is
automatically an intellectual. This is to credit some of them with
belonging to the 'superior mind' group merely by reason that they
have given evidence of possessing one or two of the attributes and
abilities associated with this group. It is possible to have and to
demonstrate creative ability and at the same time be relatively
unintelligent in other respects. On the other hand, a writer or an
artist may simply be an extremely good technician and nothing
more. The assumption requires qualification.

These two assumptions are commonly accepted as facts. This
is unfortunate, since it is under their umbrella that a large number of
pseudo-intellectuals, literary fakes, artistic cranks, and poetic
licences creep in and become accepted as intellectuals by the
unthinking and uninformed. This is even more likely to happen in
the colonial territories to which you have drawn attention, because
of the lack of informed opinion which would be able to set reason-
able standards in these matters.

I will not attempt to debate the reasons you suggest for
intellectual poverty in colonial territories, except to point out that
there is a natural numerical limit to the number of superior minds,
and this is commonly accepted as being in the region of 4% to 5%
of any population, so one cannot expect any large number of
intellectuals to be thrown up. The number is less than can be
expected on this basis, partly because of the reasons you give for
intellectual poverty, and partly because there has been a trend in
past years for such intellectuals as there were to leave the land of
their birth and go elsewhere.

Your phrase 'intercourse remains on the level of triviality' is
attractive in a literary sense, but the reason you give for it is super-
ficial. There are a number of other points which appear to have a
bearing on it. Firstly, it is not many years ago since there was no
intercourse at all between the 'outsiders' and local people. When
opportunities did arise, they were purely social where, inevitably,
the level is one of triviality. It is only very recently that the climate
has been such that more serious discussion has had an opportunity
to flourish. That it hasn't flourished to the extent that one might
have hoped may be due mainly to the fact that only a very small
number of the 'outsiders' would lay any claim to be intellectuals in
any event, and for those who are the difficulties of full and frank
discussion and criticism being personalised, arising from latent
inferiority, have to be braved.

Finally, to return to bitterness. Undoubtedly, the intellectual
has a considerable part to play in the development of an emerging







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society, and undoubtedly there is much to be angry and impatient
about to act as a spur to action. But, must there be bitterness,
it's such a negative emotion and the intellectual in these circum-
stances needs to be more responsible and more positive than he
need be in a more stable society. There is so much to do.

*
J. A. E. Y.
Congrats on an excellent and very thought-provoking article.
It takes a great deal of courage to write the 9th paragraph.

What I find very marked is the absolute universality of your
concept of the artist. It covers a whole range of chaps you make
no distinction, for example, between poets, versifiers and hack-
writers. Purely from a personal viewpoint I would have liked to
see you have a go at an all-embracing definition of the artist. As I
say, however, this is purely personal.

I am not sure that I agree with Yeats that bitterness is an
essential ingredient to the artist. What I expect rather is the testiness,
the impatience that the head-boy in the class would have with his
less enlightened comrades. The essential ingredient to high art
is, I think, a mighty theme such as the Western world has been
lacking ever since the Jesus-theme became worn thread-bare by the
poets. Perhaps the assaulton outer space will provide such a theme.
If so, will the West Indian artist be in a position to stake his claim
before the subject is monopolised by world-art? As a foot-note I
might add that if the West Indian artist finds his inspiration-
bitterness in our socio-economic oppression in the past and our
political repression in the present, when we shall have progressed
so far from our past that it ceases to bite, and we will have achieved
political independence, then the outlook for the West Indian
artist will be gloomy indeed.

I have already suggested that you include examples of outstand-
ing achievement in fields other than the academic.

What you say about the intellectual and his role in an
emerging society I find so utterly indisputable that it gives me a
queer, familiar feeling as though I myself might have written it.







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The Dancer.
BY JACQUELINE de WEEVER.

In the land of the dead, the tall dancer paused awhile in his
restless roaming. From where he stood in eternity, he could see a
beautiful girl, still in time, as yet alive, as yet untouched by love.
And his heart opened, and he loved her. Love gave him a brief
respite from his eternal pain, and in that short moment he resolved
to save her from the fate which was his, the fate of those who have
never loved. For with knowledge peculiar to the dead, he knew that
she was one of those who dedicate themselves to an ideal, and thus
forswear to love. He would become again the man he was before he
had taken of the potion of death, and he would win her love.

*

He spun round and round in the darkness, so quickly that he
could hardly be seen, although his dancer's tights were of such a
brilliant yellow that he seemed to shine with light. He stopped
abruptly, his arms stretched out in a pleading gesture, and as he
crumpled to the ground, he slowly disappeared behind a thick mist.
Marguerite opened her eyes. It had been like this for the past
week. Every night she dreamed of the tall man, almost as slender as
bamboo, and whose skin was the golden bronze of the sun, He
danced passionately, his movements full of a vitality more powerful
because of its restraint, and altogether giving the impression that he
had come from another world. Never had she seen such dancing,
full of longing and desire, so perfect, and so utterly beautiful.
Now the longing of his eyes, his limbs, his every gesture, troubled
her, for as yet she had not known love for any man.
She was herself a dancer. She danced for the sheer joy of
stretching her limbs, feeling the music flow through her, spreading
her lovely arms upon the air. She was not strikingly beautiful, and
yet it seemed that she was clothed in loveliness, particularly her hair,
which seemingly carried within its strands a thousand tiny lanterns.
She carried herself with quiet dignity and grace, and was, on the
whole, a delight to look at. Men had vowed to love her, and she
had listened to them, but her heart remained untouched, for she
was dedicated to the dance, and felt that she could never love.
And now, suddenly, she had begun to dream of this vibrant
dancer who filled her thoughts completely, whose eyes spoke so
eloquently of his desire for her, with whose movements she was
intoxicated as with wine. Was it because he danced ? The anguished
dancing of the night before troubled her, and she went to her work,
imagining she could see the brilliant yellow fall in front of her on the
pavement. His finely sculptured features seemed to appear before
her as she practised with the other dancers of the troupe, and she
could pay attention neither to the music nor to the directions
of the choreographer. She became alarmed when she realized that








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he was actually drilling her, and he kept her at her work after
the others had gone, until she felt that she would collapse. from
sheer exhaustion. When he did allow her to stop for the day, he
was clearly puzzled by her apparent lack of concentration.
"What is happening, Marguerite?" he asked. "You're not
in your usual good form today. What's the matter? Ill ?"
"I am very sory," she replied in confusion, "and I promise to
do better tomorrow. I will try harder. I really will." She was so con-
trite that he let her depart without further questioning.
After that day she dreamed no more of the strange dancer,
and as the days wore on into weeks, she kept her promise, and
danced so well that she astonished the choreographer. He gave
her the leading part in a new ballet on which he had been working,
and the whole troupe began practising on the dances.
At the end of three weeks, Marguertie's dancing was almost
perfect, and she was much heartened by the praise she received.
Her dreams of a month ago no longer disturbed her, and she had
almost forgotten them.
Then one day, as she entered the practice room, she saw him -
tall, slender as bamboo, and as bronze as the sun, with his back
toward her, he was talking with the choreographer. She could hardly
believe her eyes, and as she went towards them, her heart seemed
to have stopped beating.
"This is our new dancer, and he is going to be your partner
in the new ballet. His name is Stephen." The voice seemed far
away. She saw recognition in the dancer's eyes, and she was
suddenly standing very still, outside of time, her whole physical
world had been rolled up like a blanket and thrown aside. From
a distance she heard the clap of hands, music penetrated her
being, and gradually she regained her conscious world. Practice
had begun.
The ease with which the new dancer danced, the strength
as well as the beauty of his movements, his gracious attitude,
together with the ethereal atmosphere he created, all these things
produced a complete bewilderment among all the dancers. When the
dancing needed brilliance, his technique was as dazzling as the
tropic noon-day sun, and yet he knew how to temper tenderness
with melancholy, making it more moving. As for Marguerite, she
found that when she stretched her arms to him she felt as if she were
the dance itself, welding the lines of her body to the fluid lines of the
music.
The weeks passed. Instead of dreaming of him at night,
she was dancing with him during the day. He was a silent man.
Always she could read the knowledge of infinite sorrow in his
eyes, and although she felt an impulse to comfort him, she dared not
speak to him. There were times, however, when it seemed to her
that he wanted to tell her something, and at these times she was so







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afraid that he changed his mind. After dancing, he seemed to leave
before everyone else, and in the morning he simply appeared in
the room. And then she began to dream of him again.
His expressive eyes were sad as he leaned against the wall,
studying her.
"Why are you afraid of me ?" he asked, and the sound of
his voice was like the whispering of the wind through a hollow
cave near the sea. She could not answer him, and in the silence
he straightened himself and began to dance. Quietly, almost
inaudibly, music filled the room, and as she felt a strong desire
to dance with him, she got out of bed and matched her steps
with his. Gradually the room changed, and she seemed to be
dancing up a familiar street with Stephen. The moon was very
new, just the barest cresent, and the pale moonlight cast shadows of
the leaves on the ground making them look like a rich embroidery.
The music became agitated as shadows of dancers floated down
from the tree-tops. Their dancing was fierce and full of passion, so
much so that it seemed that the passion of many ages had been
waiting for this one chance of expression. They beckoned to
Marguerite, but Stephen held her fast. She felt that she wanted to
join them, to forget all else in the fire of the dance, but she could not.
She looked at Stephen. His face wore a hollow, haunted expression,
his eyes were filled with the agony of intense suffering. Seeing
that their efforts were in vain, the dancers floated back up to the tree-
tops, and the music once more became soothing and gentle. All
night they danced, and she did not know when the music stopped, or
how she got back to her room, but she awoke very tired. She
knew that this time it was no dream, that she had actually danced,
and the sight of the shadow dancers, Stephen's agonized expres-
sion, were still vividly in her mind.
For two days after that night Stephen did not appear for
practice, but on the third day he came. Marguerite had gone to
the studio a little earlier than usual to do a little private work,
and no one was there except the cleaning woman who opened the
doors. As she danced, she leaped into the air, and as she came down,
she was caught by a pair of strong hands and guided to the end of
the movement. Whirling around, she looked into Stephen's eyes
black eyes full of tenderness and yearning, eyes full of sorrow.
Before she could speak, he said in his infinitely beautiful voice:
"Where I have been, I cannot tell you, but I had to see you
once again before I leave you forever."
"Where are you going," she asked in a frightened whisper.
"If you cannot tell me that, take me with you."
He looked at her steadily. "You do not know what you are
saying, Marguerite," he answered gently. "Where I go, you cannot
come. Shall we dance together now?"
She no more wanted to question him, because of the expression
on his face. It was the same haunted look she had seen in her
dream. The music of the ballet filled the room, although there
was no orchestra to play it, but stopped abruptly as the dancers
began to come into the room.







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At the end of the day, he left before everyone, as was his
way, but when Marguerite got home, there was light in her room,
and when she opened the door, he was sitting on her bed.
"How did you get in ?" she asked in surprise, but he did not
answer. She sat beside him and he said,
"I cannot tell you anything about myself. It is forbidden.
But I am allowed to love you." He took her in his arms, and held
her face against his. "You have never loved, I know, and how I
wish you would love me!"
She wanted to tell him that she did love him, but the magic
of his voice had cast a spell on her and she could not speak. She felt
the weight of his head on her breast, and now the desire of his limbs
against hers was like thirst that had to be quenched, the desire of
that first haunting dream of so long ago. The desire became a
beseeching, and she felt her body slowly unfold itself, as do the
petals of a bedewed hibiscus under the wooing of the warm insistant
sun.
He did not go away immediately. For the rest of the week
she practised and rehearsed with him in the studio. She did not
realise whenever she danced with him, the exactness he demand-
ed of her was gradually taking its toll of her slight frame. She
hardly ate, for she seemed to draw strength from her love for him.
At last the first night arrived, the curtain went up, and the
ballet began. The whole piece was full of a power and a beauty of
which the critics had never dreamed, even in their wildest dreams.
Marguerite had become the music, and the dance dominated her
mind. As the curtain fell to the thunderous applause of the audience,
she began to feel the fatigue of the endless weeks of hard work.
By the time she got home, she seemed almost overcome with
weariness, but her love for Stephen was stronger than her body,
and she would not let him leave her.
As she took him to her bosom she told him: "This is too
much of joy, Stephen. I cannot bear it. Perhaps it is because I am
so tired."
He did not answer, for his heart was heavy. She could feel
the violent throbbing in his breast, and as she put her hands in
his hair, she said at last, "I love you, Stephen." As the words
left her lips, the throbbing became less violent. She knew he had
opened his eyes because she could feel the delicate brush of his
eye lashes against her throat, like the brush of a moth's wing.
Then he raised his head, and looked at her with eyes clear and calm,
and free from pain at last.
"It has not been in vain," he said, "and now my suffering is
over. How I have worked to save you from the fate of those who
have never loved, who howl with the wind in winter, who roar with
the sea in summer, who are forever without rest. I love you, and
this is too much of joy, and I cannot bear it, my beloved!" and he
covered her face with a thousand kisses.
The next morning the housekeeper found her dead, and
found also a pair of brilliant yellow tights on the floor of her room,







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On Writing History--An Administrative
View.
BY ALLAN YOUNG

The sector of history-writing with which I am most concerned
is the sector in which I myself have recently been operating. I shall
therefore begin with a few observations on my own approaches
to The Approaches to Local Self-Government in British
Guiana."(I)
To begin with, how is it that the book came to be written ?
The answer to this lies in a single word encouragement. I was
persuaded by a number of knowledgeable persons into believing
that the material utilised for my B. Litt. thesis has some historical
value that is practical and not wholly academic. With this encourage-
ment I embarked on the additional work of re-vamping, of ampli-
fying and simplifying, of whittling down and amending the original
thesis, to bring the book into its ultimate form, but it is a fact, as I
have mentioned in the preface to the book, that the work was
conceived primarily as an administrative and not as a historical
study. This is a point to which I will be returning.
The question may well be asked, why is it that an ex-land
surveyor/civil servant, currently concerned with communications
and works, should aspire to producing a work on the subject of
local government what are the factors that influenced the choice
of subject ? The answer this time is not so simple.
The foremost reason, I think, is the fact that my Civil Service
apprenticeship was served with the Local Government Board.
This was my baptism in the practicalities of village administration
from the inside. Several years later, as Chairman of a village
council and later still as a District Commissioner, I was to come to
grips with the realities from the outside.
My early duties demanded direct intercourse with village
councillors and village overseers. Among these duties, I was as-
signed the responsibility for the printing of all village estimates.
From these I gained a direct and useful insight into the entire scope
of the activities of the many village councils and country authorities.
Every Friday a swarm of village overseers would descend
upon the office with their pay-lists for the week's village works. As
assistant pay-master, it was my duty to see that the work was
within the approved estimate, to check the arithmetical accuracy and
to verify that every one of these pay-sheets was certified by the
village chairman and at least one councillor, or not less than two
councillors. I then had to examine the appropriate ledger, to see
In course of publication by Longmans Green & Co., Ltd., in association with
the Extra-Mural Department, U.C.W.I., and scheduled for release in June,
1958.-Ed,







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whether each village was 'in funds' from its rate collections, to the
extent of the sum required, before writing a cheque for issue to the
overseer to cover the amount.
I later had to check the correctness of the stamp duties where
these were required, and such other details as the correspondence of
the signature at the receiving end with the name of the worker
furnished.
It was at this period that an event occurred that created in my
mind a lasting interest in village affairs. This event was my first
reading of the memorandum on village administration in British
Guiana prepared in 1903 by Mr. A.M. Ashmore, the then Colonial
Secretary. The memorandum itself is brief for such a document
compared with many of the official memoranda I have since seen
and it was quite unpretentious to look at, but the tale it told of bands
of ex-slaves combining to purchase abandoned plantations, out of
which they moulded so many of the villagers for which I was
processing the pay-sheets, caught and held my imagination.
My next stimulus in this direction was to come in 1937 with the
publication of Clementi's "Constitutional History of British
Guiana".Though a constitutional work, Clementi quite gratuitously
threw in two chapters on local government, Chapter IV of
Part II on The Municipality of Georgetown and Chapter XV on
Village Administration and Local Government. Clementi's two
hundred thousand words on the history of the Colony's constitution
made it quite unnecessary for me to adopt his pattern in reverse and
devote a chapter to constitutional history in my short history of
village administration. Thanks to Clementi, I could confine myself
to the occasional reference needed to make some point, and to
resuming the constitutional record where Clementi left off, but again
merely for the purpose of argument.
Clementi's chapter on village administration shed much more
light on village history than did Ashmore's memorandum. Even so
however, it is understandably a bald outline and what set my mind
racing was not so much what Clementi said as what he left unsaid.
I found myself asking myself a number of questions. I was curious
to know a great deal more as to how the successive systems of village
administration actually worked while they lasted, exactly what it was
they has each tried to accomplish and the precise reasons why, and
the way in which, they each had failed.
A decisive moment came in 1951 when, like more than a
score of other Guianese civil servants over a number of years, an
opportunity came my way to do some intensive work in admin-
istration, including research in some particular aspect. For the
research, my natural choice was village administration in British
Guiana, but I must confess that I had a moment of weakness. This
came when I read for the first time Burn's "Emancipation and
Apprenticeship in the British West Indies." The plight of the poor
Stipendiary Magistrate, pressured between Parliament and Planter,
striving heroically nevertheless to do the right thing as he saw it,
awakened my interest. The Apprenticeship came of course a century
before the phrase "continental destiny" had been popularised by








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Sir Gordon Lethem. Burn clearly intended this book to cover
British Guiana, and like a good Guianese I was incensed to find that
it was confined almost entirely to the Jamaican scene, that in a book
of 4oo pages the references to British Guiana number only eight, all
adding up to a total of less than three pages. The urge to make a
similar study for British Guiana was strong. But I soon reflected
that our Stipendiary Magistrates had survived for more than a
century beyond the end of apprenticeship and that in the meantime
the apprentices themselves had graduated into full-fledged
villagers. The post-apprenticeship relationship between stipendiary
Magistrate and ex-apprentice was wholly unexplored. This was
clearly tied in with village development. Everything pointed to the
need for a history of village administration.
I was not long in discovering too that the curious pattern of
supersessive legislation outlined by Clementi was characteristic not
only of pure village administration. It was evident in several other
allied spheres. What was behind it all? There was only one way of
finding out. I was back where I had started. For me historical
research into village administration in British Guiana was quite
inescapable. So much then for the existence of the book and the
choice of subject.
One of the most exciting features of historical writing on
British Guiana is the struggle for material. Generally speaking the
problem is not so much a dearth of material as the difficulty of
locating what there is, the maddening uncertainty as to exactly
where some link of vital information might be hiding itself the
question may be at times, on which side of the Atlantic ? For the
general historian some authentic work is now coming to hand,
Clementi on Chinese Immigration and again on the Constitution,
Nauth on the East Indians, Raymond Smith on Negro Social
Evolution and my own work on the Villages. A history of sugar has
been published in several volumes.
In my own chosen field I was far less fortunate. Clementi's two
chapters, a chapter in the Report to the Fabian Colonial Bureau on
Local Government in the Colonies, scattered references in Profes-
sor Simey's "Welfare and Planning in the West Indies", two
articles in Timehri and the published literature on my subject
was exhausted. Dr. Marshall's report was not available until I had
reached the concluding stages.
I was thrown back on the primary sources of material, always the
most reliable in the end. Successive legislation against the back-
ground of the Court of Policy and Combined Court debates, and
correspondence between the Governor and the Colonial Office
proved the most fruitful and dependable source, and one hitherto
virtually unexplored, and, so long as I was in the United Kingdom
a source that was readily available through the Public Record
Office and the Colonial Office Library. For those who may be
interested perhaps I might mention that in the latter library there
appears to be a gap of several volumes in the Court of Policy
Debates,








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I was to discover too that in British Guiana the complete
hansard was introduced only from 1880. Prior to this only minutes
of the proceedings were kept. Fortunately however, it was the
practice to reproduce the debates verbatim inthe daily newspapers
of the time, of which a good supply is to be found in the Archives,
Georgetown.
I said earlier on that "The Approaches ..." was conceived
primarily as an administrative and not as a historical study. Perhaps
I should now remove any possible misimplication by glancing
briefly at the respective roles of history and administration.
What is history ? It is, in my view, the progressive total record
of the efforts of mankind in its upward striving towards the fuller
life. The raw material of history is human behaviour and human
achievement. Human failure will also find a place, and the record
will include such milestones as migrations and conquests, treaties
and laws, discoveries and disasters. Each achievement, every
failure, every effort in short, is born of a prior decision.
We must add to the record too the triumphs over the challenge
of natural disaster, the challenge of flood and famine, earthquake
and pestilence, but where disaster is concerned, it must be noted
that a natural occurrence, however cataclysmic, is never in
itself history but only the germ of history, only a scientific fact in the
physical evolution of the inanimate region. A volcanic eruption in
the Gobi desert or the Antarctic wastes is a matter not for the his-
torian, but for the scientist. "The event itself is as pure water from
the pitcher of Fate". What makes history is not disaster itself but
the effect of disaster on human beings. What makes history out of
an Act of God is the action taken by man to meet and deal with its
effects. Here again action must be prefaced by decision in every case.
Achievement, failure, the coping with disaster, these are born alike
of decision. The history of a people is therefore to be found in its
national decisions, and what is public administration concerned
with but the making of national decisions ?
This relationship between history and administration is not
always apparent, for in the making of these decisions there must be
in each case some head of State vested with the ultimate respon-
sibility, and in the pageant of world-history the untrained eye sees
little evidence of public administration, but only, at the summit
of the nation, a varied procession of High Priest and President-
Dictator, King-Emperor and Cabinet Minister, a procession in
which the Colonial Governor very nearly finds a place, mutatis
mutandis. To these leaders are passingly entrusted this ultimate
responsibility, irrespective of the number of individuals who might
each make a contribution towards the decision made on behalf of
the nation.
This then, in essence, is the administrative view of history -
the record of the successive national decisions of a people, in its
upward striving on every front towards the attainment of the
fuller life.







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Ivan G. Van Sertima
LIFE AND DEATH
(Dialogue on man's mortality and significance)
THE MATERIALIST:
Man's life is a mere adventure of nervous matter,
a futile fever of the flesh,
a gross melodrama of a billion bacillae.
spirit of man
is material essence of material substance,
god electricity, the blind kundalini,
mechanical motor-root of the accidentally animated
atom-maze.
Man is an ant in space,
a speck of dust on a speck of dust,
his world is only a dot on the map of the cosmos.
Life of man
is the inconsequential murmur in a themeless
symphony:
of what vital significance
the pin-point flicker of flame
against the immense and engulfing darkness of
timeless infinity?
or
the inaudible patter of the water drop
bursting amid the colossal cataracts
that tumble
forever
and
forever
in a chaotic and cataclysmic cascading ?
Death of man
is a total disintegration,
inglorious dissolution of cellular formation,
end to an integral awareness of being.
death is the absolute totality of effacement
the awful precipitation
into a vacant and hollow-socketed
oblivion
it is time's final liquidating trample
upon the worm's ineffectual wriggling.
death comes
and the essence passes
spirit of man
sinks down into the earth
like dew
only returning
in fresh unrelated moulds of fermenting substance.
death comes:
and the frail concoction of marrow and corpuscle
is lowered like carrion
into the maggoted mud
to manure the flora and fungi on the star's epidermis
when death comes.








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THE IDEALIST:
Death comes
but man transcends it
mounting triumphant from the trammels of the tomb
he comes,
mocking the meanness of matter,
the magnitude of space,
earth's pain and the flesh's darkness,
time's tramp
and the relative mortality of the stars.
Death comes
and the flesh collapses
matter of man
falls back onto the earth like mud
but the essence never passes
the river in man
surges to life anew
nursing upon the natal currents of divinity.
Flesh is the university of the unsculptured spirit,
mint of the ethereal germ,
material experience, the evolutionary plastic
for the casting of independent divinities.
death of man
is mere metamorphic dropping of the shell-cell,
end to the gross caterpillar,
shackle-striped acendancy of the angelic essence.
Life of man
is a vital movement in the grand universal symphony:
Man is an ant in space,
a speck of dust on a speck of dust,
yet bigger and brighter
than the brightest and biggest of
stars
for what are a million worlds of gas and fire
to five thought-tingling ounces of magically animated
substance?
what are all the chronicles of comets
or the sagas of the suns
to the history of one human heart?
or what the grandeur of a moon
or the intensity of a star
to the subtleties and profundities
the glory and magnificence of the human spirit?
One infinitesimal man,
one lilliputian image of divinity,
is a cosmos in the flesh,
a colossal creature of immeasurable magnitude!
Man's life is the expression of divinity in matter,
a glorification of the flesh,
a million-mooded manifestation of the master spirit:
spirit of man
is eternal essence in ephemeral substance,
god, the genius of the cosmos,
superconscious intelligence throbbing at the heart of all
creation.







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Out Out the Fire.
By MARTIN CARTER

(In this extract the description of the street in the city is followed by the
discovery in the alleyway of a decomposing foetus, obviously
thrownthere by someone who had undergone an abortion
Outside, in the city the, sun burns madly upstairs in the sky.
The streets blaze white near green grass, and galvanised iron roofs
shimmer like vapour. When the sun is high the city lies rigid,
tense and trembling in the stark light. And the sky is far away like
a foreign country, and the clouds are like new sails on old ships
sailing forever.
Every street is straight and white like a chalk line. On either
side houses stand up on stilts like angular insects, reaching for
something to eat. The fronts of the houses are separated from the
green parapets by fences made of wallaba paling staves. But some
are broken and jagged like splintered teeth, dirty and discoloured
The fronts of the houses are like open mouths and the stumps of
the paling staves are like the stained stumps of broken teeth. And
just as down a human mouth, the food of life goes everyday, just
so into this broken mouth of the houselot, life goes everyday,
passing forward and backward as if some giant face were eating
with a morbid relish, spitting out the more tasteless morsels and
swallowing all the rest.
The street is wide and full of dust. In the white sunlight it
lies down passively. From the wide world come motor cars, lorries
and vans, making a lot of noise, shaking up the white dust and leav-
ing the air full of the smell of fume. Wooden donkey carts, creaking
and shaking, rattle over the pieces of white marl lying all about.
Dogs fight in the grass, snarling and snapping angry white teeth
until they lock into each other, twisting violent muscles. And little
naked black children, with rags for shirts, run about with discarded
bicycle tyres, jumping over the furious dogs, the grass and the
stones. Sometimes, but sometimes only, the whole street goes
suddenly quiet, as though everything has stopped for a moment to
listen to itself. But then it begins all over again, iron wheels turning,
sun wheels turning, sky wheels turning, life wheels turning, hub
and rim, centre and circumference, point and limit, core and boun-
dary.
And when the sun goes down the whole yard becomes a slab
of darkness, like a block of black ice. In the night-wrapped city,
where the streets intersect, the light from lantern posts falls into
yellow pools on dust and pebbles. Trees grow tall above the roof
tops and some of them look as if they were trying to go to sleep.
Crapauds in the damp grass begin to rattle and whistle like birds
who can never fly. And even the dogs bark with a different meaning.
The night is like a door that closes in the afternoon locking every-
thing into a black room. And as it comes down, the sky seems to








KYK.OVER-AL


rise high up into space, only to come down again. Below, in the
streets, boys and girls on bicycles ride past men and women walking.
And a donkey cart would appear around the corner moving slowly.
The cartman droops over the donkey's rump, half asleep. In his
fist he clutches a bottle from the narrow spout of which protrudes a
tonge of yellow fire. And as the donkey walks, the cartman rolls
forwards and backwards in rhythm with the hooves. And in the
yards, the women sit on their doorsteps looking out at the street,
spitting at the night, gossiping with their neighbours and laughing
at themselves, in strange and secret amusement.
4. Miss Agnes always sat out on her front steps watching the
street after dusk. She would sit down and look at the people passing
for an hour or two before going in to prepare for sleep. But as some-
body from the yard would come to look out too, she invariably had
a companion to talk to.
That night she was sitting on her front step in the dark as
usual when she suddenly heard a voice from the shadows behind
her.
"Like you looking out", the voice said.
"Eh heh", Miss Agnes replied, turning her head to see who
it was. She recognized Old Katie's voice and repeated, "Eh heh,
ah looking out lil".
Old Katie came up and stood beside Miss Agnes.
"But wait! Was to ask you. Is wha' kind of shrimp shells you
throw away in the alley dis morning."
Miss Agnes started. The sudden question surprised her. She
did not reply at once but wondered why Old Katie had asked the
question at all. Before she could say anything else Old Katie con-
tinued:
"If you only smell the place now. It smell like some dead
ramgoat bury with rotten eggs. I never smell nothing so bad in all
me life." As she spoke she grimaced as though something was
stuck up in her nose. In the dark her flabby face twisted around her
nose like a mask of soft rubber.
"But is wha' you mean at all" Miss Agnes asked her after a
moment. "Is only today I throw 'way dem strimp shells in de
alley. You never smell shrimp shells before ? she demanded, turning
fiercely on Old Katie.
Old Katie sighed. She was not a quarrelsome old woman so
she said quietly. "I custom to smelling strimp shells yes, but I
ain't custom to smelling strimp shells like dem at all. I telling you,
Miss Agnes, dem shrimp shells really smelling bad. But you must
come with me and tek a smell for yourself."
Miss Agnes did not reply. She was wondering how the few
shrimp shells she had thrown away that morning could ever smell
as bad as Old Katie was making out.







KYK.OVER-AL


"You sure is shrimp shells you smelling in de alley", she
asked quietly, looking at Old Katie.
"Is wha' den" the old woman replied. "Is only you use shrimps
today and throw way de shells in de alley. It didn't smell so last
night, so it could only be you strimp shells that got de place smelling
so nasty."
"Well", said Miss Agnes. "Well ah really don't feel like smell-
ing no nasty'ting tonight. But if you sure is me shrimp shells smell-
ing so high in de alley, I going to come down in de morning and
tek a smell foh myself."
Old Katie turned away, grumbling to herself. "Just fancy,
she don't feel like smelling no nasty thing tonight! But I who living
in de backhouse got to sleep with it, and bathe with it cook with it,
eh! eh?"
As she walked back through the yard to her house at the back
she continued grumbling in her mouth.
"But look at me trial" she grumbled. "Dey come and dey
throw way dey nasty things all about the place and when you talk
to dem about it dey bex. People like them should live in de pasture
where dey could do what dey like."
She walked up her step and entered her little shaky house.
Across the alleyway she could see the lights in the other houses
giving off a sickly yellow glow as though the lights was weak and
anaemic with living in all the darkness.
And when midnight comes and every light is out except the
street lights, all is quiet as a grave yard. In the silence the beat of the
wind on the sea comes gently, floating over the sleeping roofs. In
the grass near the land crickets and candleflies exchange places on
hidden leaves. Dogs snarl and bark out suddenly. And somewhere
in the world of night, a man lies on top of a woman closing his eyes
and emptying himself into the invisible depths of her body. And
then when is quite empty, he becomes light like a feather and floats
through the black silk cotton of sleep like a seed on wings. And far
away to the North of the city the sea surrounds the world, dark
under the keen stars. Up and down, forever and forever, the broken
waves run from shore to shore, from night to night and from man to
man.
5. In the morning, bright and early, Miss Agnes went down
to the alleyway. The sun was lifting itself over the city and the sharp
light made clean shadows on the earth. The wind was fresh andmoist
and the sky sparkling like wet glass.
"Ah come foh smell de ting you was telling me about last
night", she called out as she came up to Old Katie's house.
Old Katie looked through the window.
"Wha' happen" she asked, "you mean to say you ain't start
smelling yet." She looked at Miss Agnes suspiciously.






KYK-OVER-AL


Miss Agness took a noisy sniff, holding up her nose to the air.
"You ain't got foh do all dat", Old Katie cried out, "just come
round by the back step and you gin know."
Miss Agnes walked around and took another loud sniff.
"Oh Jesus Christ!" she exclaimed suddenly, "Oh Jesus
Christ, but is true. But is wha got dis place smelling so bad!'
As she stood up there she could see the shrimp shells she had
thrown away lying on the ground. Surely those few shrimp shells
could not be giving off that smell. And yet, she reasoned, it had to
be the shrimp shells. There was nothing else lying about that
could possibly give off such a cloud of stink.
Miss Agnes stood up looking about her. She could'nt say any
thing to defend herself. And all she did was to cry out again and
again about the smell.
Behind her at the window Old Katie was waiting to hear what
she would say.
"You believe now ?" Old Katie asked, "you believe now about
what I was telling you last night. And you only smelling it now
you deh here standing up. But if you was like me living in dis
house you would dead long ago. Last night the smell was so bad
that I dream I was living in a latrine, not no clean big shot latrine,
but one of dem brum down nasty latrine some people got in the
yard where dey say dey living. And dis morning when ah wake up
and smell the smell, ah know de dream was not no dream at all.
Because up to now ah got one splitting headache."
Miss Agnes turned around sympathetically.
"Ah know how you must be feeling wid dis nastiness so near
you." She walked away slowly wondering what she should do.
As she turned around she noticed a piece of cloth sticking out from
under a pile of old boards lying half in the yard and half in the
alleyway. She walked over and looked at it curiously. As she bent
down to inspect it, the smell rose in her face like a dense spray of
water. She put her hand over her mouth and bent lower.
"But is wha' dis ?" Miss Agnes asked again. She looked around
on the ground and picked up a short piece of stick and started to
probe at the half-hidden cloth.
As she poked at it a piece of pinkish fabric broke away.
"Eh Eh" she remarked aloud. "But dis look like blood."
The smell was stronger than ever and Miss Agnes kept her mouth
tightly closed so as to prevent any of the bad smell going down her
throat.
Suddenly she jumped back as though something had leaped
from the ground straight into her eyes.
"Oh Gawd" she screamed, "Oh Gawd". She spun around to
face Old Katie. "Is a dead baby, is a dead baby." She bawled,
"come quick."







KYK-OVER-AL


"An' was dat got the place smelling so bad an' got me blaming
Miss Agnes shrimp shells", Old Katie told Policeman. Policeman
was writing in his notebook standing near the spot where the bundle
showed under the wood. Around his black uniform the women
from the adjoining houses were discussing the pitiful discovery.
They had all come running when Miss Agnes gave the alarm,
leaving their pots cooking on the fires in their kitchens.
"But why you all people don't go home and cook you husband
food," Policeman asked them nudging one of the women with his
elbow. They were all grouped around him listening as he spoke
with Old Katie, and from time to time they interrupted him.
The woman he had nudged sucked her teeth loudly.
"But like you is a anti-man nuh ?" she asked, cutting her eyes
at Policeman. All the women laughed out boisterously, and Police-
man looked back into his book writing industriously so as to appear
as busy and official as possible. He knew he dared not attempt to
exchange remarks with the women and so he tried to ignore them.
The policeman was a young man with a dark brown skin and
a very serious expression on his face. The women knew that he
was young in the police force and that he felt he had one of the
most important jobs in the world and that he meant to live up to
the dignity of it. He had been sent out from the Station when Old
Katie went and gave the report. And now he was taking a
statement from Miss Agnes, who all the time had remained on the
spot watching the bloody bundle that shownd under the wood.
"Is somebody living around here throw way dat thing", one
of the women said.
"But ah wonder is who", another asked, leaning forward as if
to inspect anew and discover some clue as to its origin.
"Is somebody living round here", the woman who has spoken
first repeated again, emphatically.
"Like you know is who", Policeman said suddenly, turning
to look directly at the woman.
"Oh me Jesus", the woman cried out in alarm. "What I know
about anything like dat. And to besides, leh me go and see what
happening to me pot before it boil over."
She bustled away hurriedly, leaving Policeman looking be-
hind her inquisitively.
He turned back to face the women.
"Now listen", he said "if anybody here got any information
about who throw away this ting in dis alley, dey bettah come for-
ward right away. Because if you know and you don't tell is an
offence."
He spoke proudly aware of his authority. But nobody answered.
"Alright, alright", he warned. "You all people want to lie
down wid man when the night come and enjoy yourself. But when
you get ketch you don't want to mind pickney. You don't think
about the consequences. All you want is the sweetness. Ah know,
ah know, but we going to see what is going to happen. Somebody
looking for trouble and is one of you."
As he spoke he frowned. The women, who a few minutes be-
fore were laughing at him, now watched at him with troubled eyes.







KYK.OVER-AL


"And this is a serious offence" he continued. He saw that he
had them frightened and he was happy.
"Last year in the country", he said, "a woman get baby and
when the baby dead she wrap it up in an old newspaper and throw
it away in de alley. And you know what happened? Was only be-
cause the Magistrate sorry foh she that she didn't get jail."
"Is true" one of the women said. Every eye was fixed on Police-
man. Standing in his black uniform stiff and erect, he seemed to
tower over them. Suddenly Miss Agnes took a step forward.
"But boy", she said, without warning "But boy, is wha' you
name ?" She had been listening to Policeman while he was speaking
and her sudden irrelevant question fell like a bucket of cold water
over him.
"Constable Cecil Joe No. 4914" Policeman almost shouted,
almost saluting. But as quickly he caught himself and relaxed.
He glanced at Miss Agnes.
"Like you is a botheration woman", he said softly with cold
anger in his eyes. The question had really caught him and his im-
mediate parrot like recitation of rank, name and number made him
feel ashamed. He realized how stupid he looked and he knew that
the women who only a few moments ago were looking at him with
awe, were now more or less normal again and ready to laugh at him.
Just then another policeman came up to the crowd with an
old toffee tin in his hand.
"You tek down the statement and everything" he asked Con-
stable Joe.
"Yes ah got it."
"Well alright then, leh we pickup dis thing and carry um down
to the station one time.
The second policeman picked up the bundle and put it in the
toffee tin.
"I am going to have to ask you some more questions", Con-
stable Joe told Miss Agnes as he started to leave. "This investiga
tion only now start'
Miss Agnes stared at him for a moment, then she laughed out,
with a forced bitterness.
"Bur hear he!" she shouted at his back. "But hear he! You
could start anything like investigation!"
She turned to the women. But they had all begun to walk
away and so Miss Agnes went back alone through the yard to her
room. And on the grey ground beneath her feet as she walked, the
hard little brown ants journey through the dust leaving no trail.
In the yard the lean chickens scratch with impatient feet at mounds
of dirt, searching for a worm, a shrimp shell, a grain of rice. Green
blades of grass choking beneath weeds, lean back their clean points
to the land in a mute repudiation of light and sun. Only the winged
marabuntas and the slender tailed pond flies dance through the
air, flitting from earth-floor to roof-top and darting from cool shade
to cool shade like memories seeking a place to rest. And high above,
beyond the tall interruption of coconut palm heads, the unsympa-
thetic sun burns out its white insistence, contemptuous of ant or
chicken, grass or weed, roof top or dust, memory or wing.








KYK.OVER-AL


Book Review

The Kyk-Over-Anthology of West

Indian Poetry.

(Editor A. J. SEYMOUR, 1957.)

There are many kinds of anthologies. I have seen polyglot anthologies. There are
anthologies made from the works of a single poet the Third Anthology of Jimenez
Nobel Prize of 1956, springs to the mind. But the majority of anthologies belong to
one of three main groups. First, the personal anthologies in which the poems have
nothing in common but the anthologist's partiality for them. The most common kind
of anthology is more conscious of its duty to literature, or perhaps to literary history;
it attempts to give a representative selection of the poetry of a national culture through
the centuries ,- the Oxford Books of Verse in various languages are among the best
examples. And the last kind is what I may call the partial representative anthology
- the anthology that strives to present to us the poetry of a particular school or of a
particular period. The various books of Modern Verse, Faber, Penguin, Oxford -
are obviously of this kind.

It is to this last group of partial representative anthologies that our book belongs
most. I say 'most' because, in the first place, it is evident that the personality of the
anthologist must always influence the choice of poems for inclusion, and perhaps more
strongly, the choice of poems for exclusion.

A. J. Seymour, the editor of 'Anthology of West Indian Poetry' (Kyk-over-al No.
22), is well aware of this problem. One of the questions he asks
himself is whether he made 'a fair attempt to correct his own
proclivities and see the best'. It is well nigh impossible for a
reviewer to criticise Mr. Seymour for his inclusions or omissions since
one of the declared objects of this anthology is to make known the work of Caribbean
poets to a larger public for the first time. 'There are few who have seen the poems'
I quote from the editor's Preface to the First Edition of the Anthology'.... and of
these fewer still have attempted to collect the individual booklets and the magazines
in which they have been printed.' In such circumstances, I am quite prepared to
accept Mr. Seymour's anthology, with the reservations he himself makes, as a
representative collection of contemporary West Indian poetry. And with this premiss,
it seems logical to assume that the collection must represent faithfully the quality of the
cultural matrix of the poems.

I am well aware that the question 'Is there a West Indian culture'-Culture .
with a West Indian C' is how Lamming puts it I know that this question has been
widely, and often hotly, debated in West Indian circles in recent years. Most of those
who affirm that there is, quite apart from the amusing circumstances of seeing them-
selves as the high priests of such a culture, seem to me to be guilty of the same sort of
fallacy as those who see a University degree as the completion of an education, rather
than the completion of the foundations. I should describe a culture as a 'significant an
characteristic flowering of the human spirit in a particular society'. This is my own
definition; it is much more limited and exigent than the definition of the anthro-
pologist, and necessarily implies a significant flowering of the liberal arts.

How truly may we say that there is a flowering of the liberal arts in the West
Indies ? Painting must be dismissed, in spite of Guianese claims for Denis Williams;
Music has all the elements, but no great work as yet; prose literature has its Roger
Mais and its Mittelholzer and poetry boasts the works of George Campbell, E. M.
Roach, Harold Telemaque, Derek Walcott and of A. J. Seymour himself, five poets
picked almost at random from the twenty-eight names represented in this anthology.








KYK-OVER-AL


Let me be positive about this. I think that these poems image
forth only the beginnings of a culture. That this should be so
is nothing to be surprised at, even less to be ashamed of. A comparison
with the culture of Latin America should, I think, be more
illuminating than that made with other Commonwealth countries by the editor.
Cultures are not propagated by seed, but by layering. The layers of Spanish culture in
America were struck over four centuries ago with the foundation of the first Universities
in the Islands, in Peru and in Mexico.And yet it is only in this century that new cultures
have grown, in Dario, Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, to triumphant maturity and
independence. The cultural record of the British Caribbean makes a sorry comparison.
There is not yet, as we are well aware, one single fully independent University; the
placental layer cannot yet be severed. And the system of slavery was largely
effective in destroying those elements of native culture, in the looser sense of both
words, that were, and are, used to such effect in Mexico and Peru.

This sense of being despoiled of native culture wells up into the sullen protest of
E. M. Roach's I am the Archipelago'

The obeahman infects me to my heart
Although I wear my Jesus on my breast
And burn a holy candle for my saint.
I am a shaker and a shouter and a myal man;
AMy voodoo passion swings sweet chariots low.

I believe that this sentiment, expressed in one of the most moving poems of tha
collection, is negative. In this poem, Roach does not, as Mr. Seymour suggests
a poet should, create 'out of his sensibility the positive and encouraging view of
human life necessary for the development of the community. 'There is nothing
positive in dwelling on the ruins of slavery, any more than there is in the cry
'Back to Africa.' More positive by far is Telemaque's approach in the poem
'Roots', an attempt to create an identity in a setting:-

Who with the climbing sinews
Climbed the palm
To where the wind plays most,
And saw a chasmed pilgrimage
Making agreement for his clean return..
Whose heaviness
Was heaviness of dreams,
From drowsy gifts.

Telemaque's also is the successful identification of poet with local habitation in. In
Our Land.

In our Land
We do not breed
That taloned king, the eagle,
Nor make emblazonry of lions;
In our land,
The black birds
And the chickens of our mountains
Speak our dreams.

One of the editor's assumptions I must challenge. It is this: that West Indian
culture is the exclusive concern of the Negro, whereas it is a fact
that in two of the important territories the Negro is in a minority.
Mr. Seymour is well aware of the fact, as his own poem The
People not in this anthology -shows. It would seem, however, that
he chooses to ignore the main implication, which is that a definitive West Indian culture
and literature must be founded on a wider basis than at present .The contribution of the
non-Negro elements to the common culture may well be highly significant.









KYK-OVER-AL


I should like to see signs of a forthcoming common culture based on the essential
unity of the human race, and on the absolute worth of the human person, in George
Campbell's poem 'Holy', which I shall quote in full;-
Holy be the white head of a negro
Sacred be the black flax of a black child.
Holy be
The golden down
That will srteam in the waves of the winds
And will thin like dispersing cloud.
Holy be
Heads of Chinese hair
Sea calm sea impersonal
Deep flowering of the mellow and traditional.
Heads of people fair
Bright shimmering from the riches of their species;
Heads of Indians
With feeling of distance and space and dusk:
Heads of wheaten gold,
Heads of peoples dark
So strong so original:
All of the earth and the sun!

Highly interesting are the poems that try to evoke a tradition. Keane's Fragments
and Patterns' and the editor's. For Christopher Columbus' and 'The Legend of
Kaieteur'. Interesting too are the celebrations of things very specifically Caribbean -
Sherlock's 'Pocomania' and Keane's 'Interlude Calypso'...

There are many faults in the.poets of this anthology, Too many affect an outmoded
idiom, measures too pat or free verse too free. Banalitycreeps in,as in Una Marson's
'I thought the sight/might tear my heart/to pieces.' and the ludicrous, as in George
Lamming's
'Today I would remember you whom birth brought no lucky dip
From which to pluck a permanent privilege,..'

Very often, poetry seems to be lacking completely I am thinking especially of W.
Adolphe Roberts' Gray-like verse. And pretentiousness mars most of Lamming.

But there is much genuine feeling in these poems. I have already mentioned E. M.
Roach. Una Marson's 'Where Death is Kind', in spite of the fault I have mentioned,
achieves poignancy. And there is genuine poetry. I shall conclude my examination of
these poems by quoting the impetuous clanging music of George Campbell's short
'History Makers'

Women stone breakers
Hammers and rocks
Tired child makers
Hapazard frocks.
Strong thigh
Rigid head
Bent nigh
Hard white piles
Of stone
Under hot sky
In the gully bed.
No smiles
No sigh
No moan.
Women child bearers
Pregnant frocks
Wilful toil sharers
Destiny shapers
History makers
Hammers and rocks.









46 KYK-OVER-AL
The editor makes a strong plea for the building of a building of a 'bridge of
communication' between poet and people, 'so that a unique way of life may be won and
a culture made in which they may all rest.' It is well to remember that 'poet' is a Greek
word meaning 'maker'. Whether the poet's function, as Mr. Seymour suggests, is
to make a culture, or only to make poems, is debatable. What is quite sure is that Mr.
Seymour has, in this anthology, built a good bridge to the poet, so that we may see
exactly what he is making, and how he is making it. And for that we must be very
grateful to him.
LAURENCE W. KEATES.

Reveiew
Kaywana Blood

by Edgar Mittelholzer
It must be, I suppose, more difficult to write a historical novel where the characters
live in recent times, within living memory of so many people, because there is then
room for contradiction. Nevertheless Edgar Mittelholzer has produced such
a work in his latest book, KAYWANA BLOOD, the last of the trilogy dealing
with the lives and loves of the van Groenwegel family, a stirring tale.
As in the two previous novels, the story of the family is interwoven with an
account of the history of British Guiana. This book, dealing as it does with the period
from the nineteenth century to the present, has as interesting a historical background
as the others. In the hands of this excellent storyteller it becomes easy to understand
the frustration of the planters in whose memory the colony had passed unconcernedly
from hand to hand, being in turn Dutch, French, Dutch, British, and at one time nearly
achieving Swedish nationality. The story of the growth of the city from Longchamps,
chastely laid out in squares by the French, to the Dutch Stabroek, then Georgetown
with its recurring ravishments by fire, would fascinate anyone.
For those who are on one side or the other of the old argument about heredity and
environment, there is much food for further debate. The 'Old Blood' comes out again
in very much the same way as in the former generations. In every generation of the
family there is the son or daughter who becomes intense either in love, politics, or
simply in defence of the old family motto 'The van Groenwegels never run'. In the end,
very neatly, the family name dies out as there are no more sons to bear
it, but the old blood continues in the many branches who, for
various reasons, use a different name, and who now, have in their veins
not only the blood of their common ancestor Kaywana, but also that
of just about every race which has settled in British Guiana African, East
Indian, Chinese and Portuguese. The family has spread itself in another direction also,
and can now be traced in every level of society, from English aristrocacy to the most
despicable of small shopkeepers.

Mr. Mittelholzer's favourite views concerning religion and sex are once more
given an airing, and he presents another facet of the picture of Rev. John Smith, the
famous missionary and martyr, one which is not usually told to children in Sunday
School.

Anyone reading Mr. Mittelholzer's books must be aware of his sensitivity to the
beauty of trees, to the various moods of the weather, to the music of nature. He paints
nostalgic pictures of a part of the country with whieh he is obviously intimately
familiar.
The story ends at the time of the 1953 elections, just at a point when the reader
would ask eagerly, 'And what happened next'. After following the fortunes of the van
Groenwegel family through all the generations and through three centuries, it would be
useless to suppose that everyone could live happily ever after. They could not, not with
the 'Old Blood' spread around in so generous a fashion. The only
hope is that in this ever new and modern environment the family traditions
will speak in gentler tones, and that the new blood intermingled with the
old will modulate the same old themes into new and richer harmonies.


Joy ALLSOPP








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Full Text

PAGE 1

KYIC No. 23 6L MAY 1958 Greatness and Bitterness ( L etters by:-A. J. Seymour P e ter Andersm, Fmnk T homa sson & ut/te r s Out, Out the Fire .. On Writing History .. Martin Carter . Allan Young Milton Williams Six Poems The Dancer. .. ] acqueline de Weever Poem s . Reviews Fifty Cellts

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Sunday FIRST OVERSEAS AUDIT BUREAU BY FAR THE DAILY AND Graphic MEMBER OF THE OF CIRCULATIONS LARGEST SALE IN B.G. THE GRAPHIC FAITH: 1. To maintain and promote newspapers that are independent-both in policy and in expressionof any outside influence or pressure. 2. To preserve and defend the rights of all peop le to freedom of worship, freedom from want, free dom from fear and freedom of expression. 3. To adhere to the principles of Truth, Justice before the Law, and the Personal Dignity of Ma n. 4. To further the cause of Democracy as it is under stood in the British Commonwealth. 5. To oppose corrupt practices in public life and to safeguard the right uses of public m o nies. 6. To oppose racial discrimination and preju dice. 7. To identify itself at all times with the peaceful well-being and prosperity of the people of British Guiana. THE COMMONWEALTH TRUST OF BRITISH GUIANA

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KYK_OVER-AL A effort for cOlnmunity and country. A sincere faith i1't the Gttticl/J/ l l cse futu,re-alld a s 'ign of progress for that tu.fure.

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PAGE 11

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PAGE 15

KYKOVERAL Comment. The theme of Greatness and Bitterness hung on the peg of Yeats' poem is one of the main items of this issue I hope that the debate: will continue in the minds of readers after they have read these letters and deliberately I have omitted to draw any con clusions. I wish to draw attention to the wealth of poetic imagery implicit in the religious customs of the East and coming out in the poems of Milton Williams whose work I welcome warmly here From New York Jacqueline de Weever sent her tale and from London Joy Allsopp sent her review of the latest Mittelholzer novel, while at home Allan Young tells us of the urges that moved him to write his forth coming book and Martin Carter contributes an extract from one of his long short stories. Good Fare. A. J. S.

PAGE 16

KYK.QVERAL Edited b.,. A. J. SEYMOUR. Vol. 8 No. 23 May, 1958. f.ifty Cents Contents Comment Poem for Princess Margaret Ivan G. Van Sertima Six Poems Milton Williams I Wifeless; Sometimes a Man; 0 Prahalad ; Here there's a War On; Pray for Rain ; Iron Punts Luden with Cane. Poems Firs t Impression Sun Poem XV Poem Three Petals Muse Without Music Volcano Lines on a Little Girl Drowned In the Cavern of My Blood The Falling Leaf .. G reatness and Bitterness W. A. McAndrew Wilson Harris A. J. Seymour A. J. Seymour Ivan G. Van Sertima Ivan G. Van Sertima Alex. Best Alex. Best Alex. Best Correspondence; A J. Peter And e rsen ; Martin Carte r ; Joc e lyn D'Oliveira; J. G. ; Wilson Harris; Frank Tho ma sson; J.A.E.Y The Dancer .. Jacquelene de Weever Page A.J. S. 3 7 7 8 I) 9 II TZ I 2 I3 J4 On W ritin g Hi s tory An Admini s trati\'c View .. Allan Young 3T Lire and Death ( A Dialogue) Out Out the Pirc Ivan G. Van Sertima Martin Carter Reviews Kyk Over Anthology of W.I. Poetry L. Keates Kaywuna Blood by Edgar Mittelholzer Joy Allsopp 35 37 Contributi ons and all letters shou ld be sent to the Editor "KykOver-A! ", 2.3, North Ro ad, Bourda, Georgetown, Britis h Guiana,

PAGE 17

KYK OVER AL ivall G. Van Sereima. POEM FOR PRINCESS MARGARET When you see us standing in the streets shouting as you pass, waving a forest oflimbs in the spontaneous frenzy of the massive welcome know that we love you, our princess, know that our Guiana's one with the brotherhood webbing the far-flung fragments of the grand empire. When you hear the murmurous rumble of our drums, see us dancing the wild dance, screaming our bronze throats dry, tumbling to the tortuous rhythms of the tempestuous calypso know joy intense in us is moving, incensing us joy at your nearness, our princess, joy at your coming. When you see us massing in the streets thronging round your car, gazing on your face, know that we hunt for the golden glimmer half-hidden in the jungle of your auburn hair: know that it makes us remember the long lost golden city half-hidden in the jungle of our ancient hope. know when we look into the blue interior of your eyes we shall see the blue main o'er which the galleons of Sir Walter Ralegh rode, tempting a trek of bold empire-builders, transplanting here new visions and a culture: turning our idle swamp and forest patch into town, plantation, settlement, and village.

PAGE 18

2 K Y K OVER A L know that a s w e stand here in the streets basking in the ivory brilliance of your gracious smile we shall be looking back across the centuries and from the carib altars of our heart offering a silent prayer: not only for the language that we speak, but for the laws and institutions, the customs and traditions that we cherish, your nation's legacy and our heritance our mutual treasure and poss e ssion. So when you see u s standing in the streets, waving when you pas s adding our joyous cries to the tumultuous thunder of the glorious welcome. Know that we love you, our princess, know that our Guiana's one with the brotherhood, webbing the far-flung fragments of the grand empire.

PAGE 19

KYK-OVER-AL Six Poems by Milton Williams I WIFELESS In the afternoon when there are no songs in the air, in the dull grey afternoon when the sky's in shroud And people to their houses withdraw To fire up the silences with fermented-brew. And men cuddle to their wives In the same strange ancient way, I, Wifeless And she husbandless, the Indian girl with the big red cherry for face, the girl that moved me to Oh! Prahalad, stood by her window, her cherry-coloured face more illumined in the dull afternoon. She smiled and her teeth wet'e balls of white clouds amongst purple tinged ones She waved, a compulsion for m e To realise her cognizance of me. She spoke words, Words that from across the silences Pitter-pattered Like the music of rainfall on zinc sheets: That lighted me up like fermented brew: Transforming the dull grey songless afternoon into one of birds' and sun's musi c. .' . ,' SOMETIMES A MAN Do you inquire of me stranger? Because you always see me staring in the blue Because you always see me in raptures with my visions Do you inquire who I am a n d what I want to be? I will tell you then, stranger, I will tell you Even though I never told my mother Even though I never told my father I will tell you. 3

PAGE 20

4 KYI{.OVERAL Sometimes a man, like my own father With six, or even nine children, Gets a whole fourteen dollars-a-week. And he has to pay rent, stranger, He has to eat food He has to wear clothes, His children have all got to go to school. And they Then they grow up Must endure the same, suffer mutely, or rebel. They, when they grow up, Will graduate out of suffering Into more suffering. So stranger This is why You always see me staring in the blue, This is why You always see me in raptures with my visions Because, The shrine of my heart Longs only for the beautiful things man is capable of, To prevail over all the earth. Each time I see my people At labour in the fields, factories, offices. Each time I see the whore in despair Barter her body for survival: I am determined to be like a crow: To fly as high And cleanse the land.

PAGE 21

KYK.OVERAL OH! PRAHALAD DEDICATED DAY On the eve of this, Prahalad Dedicated Day, Abeer drench'd you come to me, Oh Indian girl With your face and hands all turned crimson, With the previous colour of your dress 5 undistinguishable, And all your form reverberating an atmosphere of festivity. You come and you sit and you sing for me, playing on the jaal! The golden sound of your voice sending sweet stinging darts to my heart Then leaving it in exquisite jets clothed on wings of delight The very voice felled star-apples and sapodiUas from their trees, The very voice ripened the cherries and gooseberries all around. I took you and placed you under the cherry tree On its crest a red breast was warbling her song. Oh the sacredness of the sight! I dare not utter a word to you For suddenly it came upon me like the wind ruffling the trees This was the very meaning of "Phagwah." :41 HERE THERE'S A WAR ON Here there's a war on. Not like the war that stalked London: Clouding it in sheets of angry dark smoke Crumbling its buildings with rock-like hails Driving pink and white temporal travellers Into the impregnable walls of air-raid shelters, Leaving a waste of tears desolation and broken hearts Implanting in the minds of youth in their formative The bitter misery of the bitter horror! No! But a war rages here. A war waged by tanned men in defiance years Dooming them to be condemned for their rebellion Churning into ashes their miserable dreams and ambitions Leaving them like trees shed of their green branches To endure stoic-like perpetual horror of the buzzard-like elements, Or else, to fall, -bewildered stragglers on the side line of life.

PAGE 22

6 KYK-OVER-AL PRAY FOR RAIN In seasons of draught the dry land cracks Leaves turn from green to pale yellow. On streets the asphalt reflects The furious energy ofits cry stalled-burden. It is seasonal," the people say, "Pray for rain." Drought is not only an affectation By nature to men and crops! It is the living lie of all of us: Young men green-vitalled In industry Withering to absurd anonymities .... o comrades, perpetual drought is our heresy! Like garbage on the downheap We are piled: forced to exhaust Ourselves, be divested of all our purity, Crack, decay, and burn. IRON PUNTS LADEN WITH CANE Iron puns laden with cane Come gracefully like pregnant women into harbour. Iron punts laden with cane Make me see strong tanned men Labouring under the sun's invigoration: If blood instead of sweat could flow It would rain from their backsAnd if ever life through over labour Surrendered its mortal clay It would theirs

PAGE 23

KYK-OVER-AL W. A. A f e.Andrew FIRST IMPRESSION In and out among the souls who had crossed the river she came floating towards me a dark wraith of a woman whose mode of progression was not so much a walk as a titillating suppleness of hips ..... I was aware as she passed me only of a wrist flexed in fragility a crown of curls like saman flowers with the same Lethe of perfume the dark mark that Love left and eyes which looked without seeing and without speaking made it clear that she had set out to see life and seen too much ..... Then she was gone gliding down the sidewalk like a humming-bird flitting with a whirring of wings in the interval between saman trees .. ..... Wilson H arris SUN POEM XV Blue is the journey I long to go White is the gate I open to show the sun my face. Brown is the road that leads to space 7 where the sky falls down like the highest hill. Dark is the river where green trees sail, where nothing learns to stand quite still on the visionary road across the hill. Lofty is the spirit that waves on high Like a flag of wind that is flown awry: it is visible now to my naked eye to my naked eye and my naked mind -the flag blows out and the wind blows in -they are one and the same like flesh and My wood and my bone are burnt in the sun I wave like smoke, crackle like gun Mareh to meet the starry ground Where the camps are lit and the spirits sound Their bugles for burning bone and tongue. skin.

PAGE 24

8 A.J. Seymour POEM OhLight You vast primeval word You gave the eyes For You the rose' s red Leaps from the night And You transluce from dark The pearl of dawning. You scrawl The circling alphabet of the stars. You daze the lovers' eyes With inner stars of ecstasy Your seeing clasps all lovers' heart beats And You link and seal The beauty of the world You looked on Mary You uttered Him within the womb And in one great event Your meaning sears The page of Time The dead God sagging in love upon the tree. A J. Seymour THREE PETALS Seal the door, quench the light, Prudent housewife, it is night. Cave, or Greek or Latin homestead, Or bungalow opposite in Church Street, The duty is ageless. Where neck and the shoulder join Above the line of attire The body will yield perfume If the lover will breathe desire o body, yield perfume, My heart is quick with desire. : : o Sleep Handmaid to the stars Laying your soft dew on men's minds To make them a child again. Come to me with images Borrowed from her That I may couch with thoughts Laid aside with her dress.

PAGE 25

I v a n G. Van Sercima MUSE WITHOUT MUSIC (the po et in searc h of a t o n g u e ) Last night while the world slept, I came down to the sea, lured by the mounting call of an inner music: Down to the sea, down to the sea I came, 9 through the tunnelled lanes of the brain's gre y city, through the million streets of the mind' s dark to the sea I came, searching for a voice, searching for a voice. Last night while the world dreamt, I came down to the sea, maze, I could not sleep though I was in search of a dream. Time has etched a million wave-marks, like a mosaic of wrinkles upon the sand-face of my soul: And I come down to my s e a in the long dark nights, looking at the waves, looking at the sands, searching for a voice, searching for a voice. A million waves, unthawed, gush from the frozen channels of forgotten time, vomiting the silt of my past, Flooding my sands with the fossils of two sepulchred decades of the heart's dark history: And I come down to the seas of my soul, taking the living plastic into my hands, warm with the vital essence of a million hours, trying to mould, out of the ten thousand faces and places, voices and images, forms and fancies, thoughts and impressions, a voice for the soul's release and total revelation.

PAGE 26

I O KYK-OVER-AL I have gone down like this to the oceans of men, sounding their depths, forging a link to my spirit, with the echoes that ring out from the deep dark hollows within them: But their songs have not quenched me, their tongues do not speak me, their patterns are alien to the webwork I seek And I must still go down to my sea in the long dark nights, searching for a voice, searching for a voice. Would that the flame of my thought fanning so faintly now over the far waters, may from a flicker foment, flare to a furious force, full to a fountain of fire, and from the revering ferment of forms, forge me a frame, fording the fathomless! Would that the voice that I seek could like the winds of my soul breathe me a music milked in the multi-mooded murmurings of the mighty spirit! A voice, broad and deep, broad and deep like the river of time itself, bearing upon the sensitive stream of its subtle symphony all the vague and vivid etchings that the waves have made.

PAGE 27

KYKOVERAL VOLCANO i van G Van Sel' l i m a When I speak now there are no urgent rumblings in my voice no scarlet vapour issues from my lips I spit no lava: but I am a volcano an incandescent cone of angry flesh black brimstone broils within the craters of my being. When I speak now no one can hear me the thunder lies too deep too deep for violent My heat is nothing but a memory now: My cry a terror of the long forgotten: Time heaps high snow upon my passive flanks and I stand muted with my furnace caged too chilled for agitation. But mark me well for I am still volcano I may disown my nature, my vesuvian blood, so did my cousin Krakatoa for centuries locked his fist within the earth and only shook it when his wrath was full and died to rock the world. So, mark me well pray that my silence shall outlive my wrath for if this vomit ventures to my lips again old orthodoxies villaged on my flanks shall face the molten magma of my wrath submerge and perish. II

PAGE 28

1 2 KYK.OVER-AL Alex. B est. LINES ON A LITTLE GIRL DROWNED There in the sea by the side of the groyne, Little girl drowned. Back into the umbilical cradle tide-tossed lightly her bloated body, stiffened, rock-carved like some old Sumerian figuremother-type in embryo-knows no awakening, Safely sleeping in sea-sanctuary Current-guarded, no ebb nor flow will affect tension of desire and fulfillment sea changes of fortune Nor fate blot out. As silently as stars return to water In the wake of the churning ship Life creeps back to its home; And the Great Sea-Mother fondles Millions of years in six; a little girl sleeps softly swayed by womb-water. Alex. Best "IN THE CAVERN O F MY BLOOD" Dedicated to The Soci ety of African Culture Centuries of black blood pulsate my heart and pound a weird ancestral rhythm on a soul stretched across the abyss between my yesterdays and todayDrumbeats of words to twist a shock of recognition; to awaken ancestral ghosts and the centuries' madnesses. In labyrinthian tunnels of my being dark dancers stamp votive offerings to stir the ju-ju man ....

PAGE 29

KYK-OVER -AL But I must emerge to rape memory_ In could withstand the birth-painsthat this page where today and yesterday strain in the sweat of copulative exercise may deliver my song. (Around that hallowed mound Undulating anthropoids dance in welcome of conception). A lex. Best. THE FALLING LEAF The falling leaf gently twists its shape in vain to veil the sudden sun. In vain Death turns the streams that cleans life's filth 13 Or the moon's inquisitive eyes hunt hidden lovers Or distance spread outstretched palms to impede an inflow of love-No leaf nor cloud could blot out the radiance of a half-shy smile nor death erase memory nor moon seek out where hidden caresses cling in hesitant ecstacy. Love will outdistance distance To dance together on a star.

PAGE 30

KYK-OVER-AL Greatness and Bjtterness. A. J. SEYMOUR W. B. Yeats in one of hi s poems asks a question which I find has been echoing in my mind for y ears. The question is in the section on Ancestral Houses in the long poem "Meditations in Time of Civil War" written in 1923 and the section ends with those line s: "What zf those things th e greatest of mankind Consid e r most to magnify or to bless But take our gr e atn ess w i th ou r b itte rn e ss." Yeats had spoken of "violent and bitter men who called architect and artist in, that they, bitter violent men might rear in stone the sweetness that all longed for night and day. The gentleness none there had ever known", and he mused "what if these things take our greatness with our violence" So I ask the question Is the artist respected in his communit y ? Is he respectable by the community s standards? Must he not preserve his bitterness in one f orm or other if he wants to achieve greatness? Traditionally th e artist, the poet, the musician is a rebel. His role is to place his new vision sharply in contrast with the old community views. In older s ocieties like the United Kingdom, there is a considerable body of culture, so the rebel tendencies of the artist repre sent a reaction again s t s om e e s tablished view and move to modify them. In a y oung and emerging s ociet y like the West Indies and British Guiana where there is no bod y or established view the rebel tendencies are relativel y stark and the murmur arises in the minds of people why is the artist so bitter? It would be more helpful if he were a nicer person". They don't understand Yeats' muttered fear of taking greatness with out bitterness Actuall y I believe that thi s conflict i s a necessary s our c e of the imaginative life of the arti s t. Heaven forbid he should be a nice person, that he should cease to be a rebel. And y et I can see the other point of view, that the society will move forward best if its prime movers have balanced minds and temperaments combined with thrust. This means does it not, that the a rtist becomes respectable and is tamed into responsibility. They sa y that a pint of practice is worth a gallon of theory. One mark of the political leader in all times is a gift of phrase and a talent for the compelling image. In former generations in the West Indies these abilities served only in literature because of the restricted political climate. Shall we risk a few examples? Someone h a s pointed to Albert Gomes of Trinidad, a literary figure in the early thirties who was converted to the more exciting pastime of p o litics. What o f the latest star in the West Indian political heavens, Eri c Williams who hammered out the massive literar y sty le of the

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KYK-OVE1\-AL I5 historian and then graduated into political life v ia extra-mural lecture s in Woodford Square. It was the encouraging political climate which provided a l arger arena for their t a lent s, and their image-making intelligen ces work in a m ore practical field. Or t ake the way in which a mind lik e Philip S herlock 's harne sses it self to the treme nd ous job of being un officia l ambassador for the We st Indian University. So man y of hi s speec he s owe their bite and their memorablene ss t o th e fact that the m a n is a poet. I begin to o v er s implif y her e. It see m s to me that there i s a type of public figure in our West Indian life based o n those literar y qualities this type i s very much in the van, leading the inte l lectua l s of th e reg i on, and a l so catching the imaginati on of the masses in the s urge toward s nationhood To m ake a nation the leaders must c reate new values and mirr or the society in s u c h a way that it improves upon it self. T h e l eaders mus t w rit e the boo k s to feed the n a tion a l spirit, and give the yo ung people a se n se of pride. Like the favo urabl e po liti cal dimate, the foundation of the U ni versity provided a n ot h er nursery for l eader s hi p a nd for the cultivation of mind s of the first inte llectual rank. The s trenu o u s di sc ipline of re se arch in academic matt ers encourages the e mergen ce of figure s lik e Elsa Goveia, Raw l e Farley and R oy Augier. Ac cordi n g t o the records, Dr. Walter Rankin was the sa me type of mind in hi s field of Latin st udi es, but the era in which h e developed led hi s s teps so far away from Guiana and the West Indies that on hi s r eturn he was almost a s tranger a lth o ugh a legend ary o ne. But after I have said all this, there s till r emai n s the need to produce and preserve the intellectual who is neither politician, nor academic figure and who w ill be free to act as a re spo n sib le yet critical agent in his soc iety. His role will be, it seems to me, always to deepen the discussion priva t e l y or publicly, a l ways to take the arg ument s further so that eternal principles are see n to be involved, a l ways to suggest in prose and ve r se, that a n ew point of v ie w i s possible and that the s h e ll of confo rmit y may be a s tiflin g and restricting pri so n we should escape fro m His oppo rtuni ties, to que s ti o n co mmuni ty ass umpti ons and to s t ate that they are false or inadequate will occur in th e home, in the club, in the socia l group a n d in the lectur e room. Part of the repre ssive at m osp h ere of the Co lonial sc en e is its inte llectual poverty, and one of the main advances toward s independen ce is the di sc u ssio n of i ntellectual ideas with the assurance of sta ndard s of 'judgment a nd ta ste' ; a nd the proper marriage ofthe Genius of the Pla ce with the Human Spirit. I've been thinking on th e reasons for the intellectual poverty in a co l ony and there are o n e or two m ore obvio us pointers. First of all genera ll y, there i s o nl y a high sc hool ed u catio n and the l eaders of the ,ommunit y who are born and bred there tend to accept too easily as

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16 KYKOVERAL necessary to get by and even hold important office, a superficial grasp of ideas and a merely functional ability to make things and organ isations work. This complacency is apparent to outsiders coming into the country and recruited in the administrative, commercial and industrial fields. They have no deep loyalties to the territory so they work for their living and make the most of the limited means of recreation and enjoyment available to them. They reason that it would irk the egoism of th;) fairly decent chaps in the territor y and expose their relative inability to answer if any deep intellectual issues were brought up. So intercourse remains on the level of triviality. Then there is the shortage of good up-to date books, related to the shortage of potential buyers People don't read much and if they do, they borrow from the public library or a friend because tpere is financial povert y and a low standar d of living. The booksellers do not risk adventurous orders of titles, and the libraries quite properly spend their money on meeting the median range of reading needs which are largely fiction of the undemanding type At the International Conference of Artists held in Venice in I952, Mr. Taha Hussein of the International PEN Club, in his address on The Writer in the World Today described the need for "the secondary profession". He said then, "to expect i ntellectual activity to provide its author with the means of s ubsistence is merely to stultify it," but warned that it was harm f ul for the secondary profession to absorb the writer completely. The writer must be at the service of truth and truth alone. As Dante described him, the writer must be always a man going forward through the darkness with a lantern hanging at his back, lighting the path for those who come after. I have started a number of possible lines of thought and arguments and done that deliberately and I should be glad to have your views on these things. Let us however come back to W. B. Yeats and his bitterness as a possible essential for greatness. And what is bitternes s here? Is it not a quality of vision making for truth, that the writer will see elements in the community's present and past life which he will condemn as an angry young man? Is he not protesting with vigour the complacency and the crust of acceptance which his community takes for granted? Is he not saying "lets leave the gentleness and the sweetness to others, but my spirit tells me we've got to change this and forge a new kind of life ?" In an emerging society such as we find in colonies, there is much for the young intellectual to be angry and bitter and violent about. It is this grit that he must take into his oystersoul

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KYK-OVER-AL r7 and work into a pearl. H e i s himself an agent of change and this was probably one of the thoughts in Yeats' mind a s he wrote: Oh, what if gard e ns where th e peacock stray s With delicat e feet upon old terraces Or else all Juno from an um displays Before the i ndifferent garden deities! Oh, what if levelled lawns and gravelled ways Wh ere slipp e red Contemplation finds his ease And Childhood a d e light for evelY s ense But tak e our gream ess with our violence. What if th e glory of escutc h eone d doors And buildings that a haughtier age designed The pacing to and fro on polished floors Amid great chambers and long galleries lined W i th famous portraits of our anc estors; What if those things th e gl'eatest of mankind Consider most to magmfy, or to bless, But take our greatness with our bitterness Peter Andersen I do not agree that it is the artist's function to rebel, to lead to reform to compromise, to seek greatness or respectability in his community, or even particularly to think. I do not agree that the terms "artist" and "intellectual" are the same or are interchangeable (Although there are artists who are also intellectuals just as there are farmers who play cricket. ) I don't believe that society is indebted to the artist, or that the artist is indebted to society. In fact, I am sorry to say that there is little in your open letter that I do agree with. To my way of thinking, the main difficulty comes with this confusion of the terms artist and intellectual. I s hould define the different functions of the artist a nd the intellectual in this way: The artist draws direct from human experience in order to express himself, or as Martin Carter put it recently, beautifully succinctly people are the artist's raw material ; but the artist draws no conclusion or points no moral. The intellectual on the other hand is a step away from humankind His raw material is not people-human experience-but human knowledge, and of <.:ourse, he doe s draw conclusions and, quite often, points morals. The artist is in the midst of life, his ideas are expressed ;;ubjec tively; the intellectual is one step in front, one to the right of life ideas are expressed ob;ectively.

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18 KYK-OVER-AL It might s eem that I consider the intellectual more of a "producer" than the artist, but, of course the very opposite in true. The artist is a creator, the intellectual an empiricist. You might call the symbol of the intellectual the mind, the brain -the sy mbol of the artist is the stomach and the sexual organ So then, the rebel tendencie s of the artist, as you describe them might repre s ent a reaction against some established view, (although I wo uld not agree that thi s is always true) but his concern is not to c hange or modify that v iew His concern is merely to make an observatio n about it. The artist might say, "The tempo of life in the colonies makes for intellectual poverty," but h e w ill go no further by drawing the co nclusion that intellectual poverty is undesirable. That is for his fe ll ow human begin s to decide. The artist is never a l eader in this se n se. Po ss ibl y the intellectual is, for he will certainly draw the conclusion that intellectual poverty is undesirable and might try to persuade others that thi s is so. This might imply that I think the artist and intellectual work hand in hand, complementing each other 's function but I do not think thi s is true either. Should the artist form such an alliance with the intellectual the artist's role changes and he is then in the position of following up his observations with a con clusion i.e. handing the ball over to the intellectual for analysis and interpretation. ( And in case there is any doubt about this a rti s ts do not produce work for the benefit of critics!) To make matter s worse the artist intellectual subject of your open letter later on becomes involved with the politician and the national le a der. Your politician-artist-intellectual-leader "must create new values and mirror the society in such a way that it improves upon itself. The leaders mus t write the books to feed the n atio nal s pirit and give the young people a sense of pride." I would like to say that I reject this attitude completely Societ y ha s n o right whatever to demand any particular form of expression from the artist a n y m ore than the artist has an y right t o expe c t Societ y to accept the form of expression be ha s chosen. As soo n as yo u s tart dictating to the artist (or intellectual in thi s case) what he s hould aim at yo u kill genuine expression. You have only to see what has happened to art and thought in the USSR and what is beginning to happen in USA to see the results of the imposition of a policy of national uplift o n the artist. In an y case I do not believe that leaders or politicians to intellectuals or artists create nations. People and people only creare nations.

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KYK-OVER-AL ]9 The same thing is true of the deplorable lack of any but com pletely material standards in colonies such as British Guiana. (Religion seems to be considered sufficient substitute for intellectual development to most people.) I s uggest there is nothing the artist or the intellect ual can do about it except make s u re that his intel lectual development does not become impaired. Enlight enment can only come when the people who live in the colonies feel that it is necessary. I have gone to some l ength in attempting to point out w hat I consider the differences between the intellectual and the art ist because when the artist who is the bitter subject of the first part of your argument is separated from the intellectual who is the pote nti al sav iour of society's minds in the second part of your argument, we see m to be right back where we started. The artist can help to raise a particu lar comm unity'S cult ural standards simply by leaving his work where it ca n be seen read, or heard regardless of its content Eventua ll y people will become accustomed to having the artist's work around, and they will eventually come to accept standards of truth, beauty etc., because they are being confronted with s tatements Whatever you think of the relative merits of Rembrandt and Picasso, Cervan t es and Eliot, Beethoven and Sibelius, you cannot deny that their work ex ist s. The results of the intellectual's endeavours are somewhat different. To quote o n e example only, intellectuals have been commenting on the Bible ever since it was written and we are no nearer discovering the truth or otherwise of religious philosophy than we were two lhousand years ago. I suggest in conclusion that we do not need more leaders-we many already-we need more ordinary members of so::;:ety w h o can do their own thinking and can make their own decisions. In meanwhile the artist will always be with us (if we are allowed to s urviv e in an atomic age), just as the farmer and the fis h e rman will ahvays be with us. I suggest that his role i s at least as important, although not more important than these other useful members of society. Marlin Carter In yo ur letter you seem particularly preoccupied with what you call "bitterness". I see too that you associate "bitterness" with the rebel" claiming that the condition of rebellion and bitterness is a necessary source of the imaginative l ife of the ar t ist. I dont' know if I agree a lt ogether. And I am reminded of Thomas Mann's point about the artist being so much disturbed internally that he sometimes has to make o ut quite the opposite, externally. The core of your argument is that the "artist is a r ebel". Don't you think we might do better to say that the "artist is an a rti s t a nd then proceed to tell what being an artist means? This

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20 K Y K -OVER-AL idea about the artist b e in g a rebel see ms a romantic notion to me, a notion the phili s tines love. Because it immediately absolves them from self-criticism. For when they do in fact encounter an artist, all they do with this notion well behind them, is to pretend to be interested and curious and "cultured" while deep down inside they tell themselves that this animal is an artist only because he is a rebel, transfering in this context whatever suits them to transfer. Thus they excuse themselves and sink gently back into complacent limbo. As I say I feel it might be more fruitful to discuss the artist as artist. If a given human being is an artist and a rebel, at one and the same time then being a rebel is either a consequence of being an artist, or it is a parallel situation On the other hand a person may very well be a rebel without being an y thing like an artist. So there fore that which goes into the making of a rebel is not necessarily the sa me as that which goes into the making of an artist. But by saying that the artist is a rebel yo u are implying the opposite, with which I strongly disagree. The other part of your letter deals in a way with the intellectual atmosphere of the West Indies. You say "part of the repressive atmosphere of the colonial scene is its intellectual poverty". May I extend this condition of poverty to everything? And may I say too that the job of the artist and intellectual in the West Indies is no different from the job of the artist and intellectual in every part of the world. We are concerned always with the human condition and the establishment of va lue. Everything is to be taken in the hand and transformed and given meaning Other jobs belong to the others. Jocelyn D' Oliv eira I agree generally but these point s occur to me. I would divide artists roughl y into those who aspire to be the "mirror" of their society, the extollers of all that is good in it, and the "Conscience of their society, those who see the faults in thei r society in sta rk perspective and, perhaps consciously, perhaps not, try to lead their society on to better things As an example of the first type may I s uggest Tennyson ( at least the later Tennyson) and Kipling. Were they bitter? Such artists can be conforming; "nice chaps" in other words. No example need to be given of the second type, but here again we've gOt to watch two special varieties of the "bitter great". First, those who a society and payoff their grudge in VItrIol e.g. SWIft who It I S SaId, wou ld have been sweetness itself if he had got the Bishopric he craved and Pope whose deformity made him a laughing-stock. Second: watch out for the poseurs who cultivate bitterness as the badge of their profession and delight to "epater les bourgeois as the French say. I haven't had time to digest the points you make in regard to the emerging society, but I'll think about it and we'll talk it over some time.

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KYK-OVER-AL 21 J. G. In what tradition is the artist, the poet and the mUSICIan traditionally a rebel? Not for instance in the Persian tradition The Persian miniaturist's vision of the garden is what it always was -the tree, the reclining figures, the running water. The intermingling of cloud and mountain peaks in a Chinese landscape transcends any historical situation. This divine restlessness with what exists, the demoniac urge to create something always new belongs particularly to Western Europe, and indeed, to get the time perspective right, is a fairly recent event. We might say it gets under way with the Renaissance, and crystallizes into a spirit of revolt about the time of the French Revolution. The age of revolt is now in an extended Western world. If we are to talk of the artist, the poet and the musician as a rebel we are conceiving him in this tradition. We are accepting limitations to our conception imposed b y the conditions of the Western world. Of course there may be nothing else for it. All prisoners of our society, we have no choice but to be rebels. But if that is so, we are in an impasse which is ridiculous. We have to say that the artist is patterned by the society in which he exists; he conforms, and at the same time rebels. To escape from the paradox we shall have to go further. It is not sufficient to say that the statement "the artis t is a rebel" can only be made in the context of the Western world. Something is said about artists -in the Western tradition they are commonly rebels. But nothing is said which distinguishes them from politicians, crackpots or businessmen. Some help in thinking about the problem can be gained from a deeper analysis of the rebel. "L'homme revolte" is seldom compounded solely of revolt. In each expression of rejection there is an assertion. The rebel is not a maniac whose only joy is in destruction. In the moment of his protest he asserts that something else (and presumably something finer) should take the place of what is. In hi s heart whilst tiring the shot from the barricades, he is a creator. Whether the artist be rebel or not, the true rebel is usually in a manner of speaking an artist, because what he really wants is to create. But the rebel and the artist are not brother s, though they might be found together on the barricades They are not interested in the same kind of creation. The rebel want s to bring the kingdom of heaven o nto earth. The artist divini zes the earth. He takes what he finds around him and this may be the stuff of revolt, and transmutes it into something which satisfies a different kind of laws. His material exists here and now. He does not create it. He u ses wha t is to hand. A tree, a man s uffering an emotion or an idea-which he may borrow from the rebel d e Carrie re". These continue to exist and do not change, under hi s h and. The tree remain s and the man s uffers, continues to suffer, for eternity. The artist puts them into a new pattern which i s made of paint or sto n e or words

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22 or sounds and which is just right so that the pattern see ms to contain its own justification. The artist has created a new and permanent way of looking or listening which is durable. A song or a play may be used to start a national movement, but that's no concern to the writer as an artist. A monument may set patriotic blood tingling, but as an artistic c reation is must stand a test of another k ind. The writer and the sc ulptor are not sociologists or politicians. Their measure is timeless. The song and the pla y may last when revolution has become ancient history, and when the cheek flushed with patriotic pride is chap fallen. In primitive societies a man painting a motto on his boat might be carpenter, priest and artist all at one time. Later in time. the boat may cease to be a useful economic tool and the motto become a meaningless symbol of an outworn creed, yet the pattern may retain it s vigour as art and be active in new creations. In modern societies the artist has become a specialist, but not to such a n extent that he ceases to be a man politician or priest. He cannot help but live with other men, eat, drink, share their labours and problems, but in so far as he is an artist he creates from his experience so mething which is no longer reducible to its original elements. Once the paint is dry, it can no longer be rendered tractable by mixing it again with oil. The poet ma y s ing a song of protest, or of sixpence, or record a paeon of praise. The essence is not the bitterness or the thanks giving but the genius of creation. The artist, the poet, the musician may be rebels, may well be rebels in the Caribbean sector of the Western world, but they need not be. They may also, in the same way, be intellectuals or lead ers though I don't like to think they could be both. A leader is versed in the ways of the world; he can give guidance to keep his followers from going astray. "Intellectual" seems to me a word which has an underlying pejorative meaning. Like the artist he is removed from hurly-burly; unlike the artist he is remote. The artist is rich in experience which he transmutes by an act of creation. The intellectual avoids experience. He does not live so much as reflect life. He is a mirror, or rather a prism which analyses life into its separate parts. He does not create. He dissects. A poet may be wise. But let him rebel fiercely against becoming an intellectual. Yet in spite of what he is not neither rebel nor leader -the artist does make a contribution to his soc iety. This contribution s tand s in its own name Art is an integral part of culture, is not present b y proxy nor as the agent of eco nomics religion or politics. The artist freezes the transient and formless moment into a snow flake thereby creating a pattern which memory preserves. Without him there would be no certainty the pattern ever was. The artist is the true c hronicler of our suffering and achievement.

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KYK_OVER-AL 23 Wilson Harris Yeats' wonderful "greatness with bitterness" does not, it seems to me, apply to the rebel. It would apply if rebellion were a part of fate and loaded with peculiar destiny as it were, rather than being, as I understand it, a mere pretence of history The rebel is very often an ordinary puritanical person magnified out of all proportion by s uper stitions such as the political super stit ion the moral superstition, caste and race superstitions Think of the famous Dreyfus case. Dreyfus was a little man, no hero or anything of the sort. Think of the numerous dictators that crop up from time to time all over the world, so petty, so mean, so cruel and still as ignorant as the Haitian Soulogne who ruled his country for eleven years with incredible violence and cunning. The artist then in the high fateful sense of "greatness with bitterness" must not be confused with the rebel in history. The balance between greatness and bitterness is bound to be struck sooner or later as s ure as the clock s trike s and the gong echoes. Not the drumbeat of rebellion but the heartbeat of fate. Remember Troy. Father Zeu s s urvey s the sce ne. It i s Hector' s last s truggle. The balance is failing against him A bitter moment even for Zeus, the father of the gods, who loves Hector. But that bitterness, the bitterness of death, i s necessary to establish a greatness. The scales fall lower and lower, and Hector knows he is alone and there is no succour anymore for him from living men or gods. The problem that agitates my mind, out of all this, takes a different murmur and form to that whispering gallery which asks or seems to ask why is the artist so bitter, why cannot he be a nicer person, why is he so irritable and upset. What agitates me is not these questions the whispering galler y asks. It is the burdensome sensibility the individual artist constantly carries and bears like a scarecrow before the world. Here i s no rebel but a sacrifice and victim. It is almost too comical to be true the punishment some men inflict on themselves or allow to b e inflicted upon them se lves which transcends b y far anybody's little irritations and murmurs. Comical but true. Give this puni s h ment whatever artistic label you like: the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Phantom of the Opera, the BIue Angel, Rimbaud's 'derangement of the senses', Goethe's Faust, Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral", Brinnin's "Dylan Thomas", Laocoon and his remarkable serpents and snakes. Any label yo u like. I wonder whether the whispering gallery as it murmurs of the artist' s bitt erness would not s top and reflect on the comic side, the delightful rape, as it were, of human nature which all are privileged to enjoy even in small doses.

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KYK-OVER-AL Frank Thomasson There appear to be two assumptions running through your 'Open letter to the Intellectual' which should not be accepted entirely at their face value. One is the linking of the intellectual with bitterness, and the implication that a real intellectual cannot be free of bitterness. Strictly speaking, an intellectual is simply a person of superior mind, that is, someone who, through no fault of his own lies towards the upper end of the distribution of intel ligence. Such people usually have a number of particular abilities, or at any rate, have them to a greater degree than their ordinary fellows The ability to think more clearly and objectively, to think through a problem or situation, the ability to handle a larger number of concepts at one and the same time, the ability to visualise and create. Is it not the ability of the intellectual to think with greater clarity that enables him to strip a situation, or for that matter an idea or a way of life of all its frills, convention and tradition, and to see it stark and unadorned. Perhaps it is the revulsion at what is left that tends to lead to bitterness. Since the intellectual begins to submit everything to this 's tripping' process at an early age, he is unlikely to be in a position to make any active contribution to corrective action, except to talk about it. The frustration this causes only increases the bitterness. There are, on the other hand, a considerable number of people who have an equal degree of intellectual ability, but whose use of it does not lead to bitterness. Perhaps it leads to impatience instead which may be a better basi s for action than bitterness. It is possible that any improvements which result from action by this group are accredited to the 'bitter ones' simply because they are or make themselves, more obvious in society. Is your assumption merely an unfortunate generalisation or are yo u in fact saying that a highly intelligent person only becomes 'an intellectual' when use of his intelligence results in bitterness? Is it not possible that bitterness may arise for other reasons? The creative ability or at least the creative urge i s a feature of the intellectual mind; however, quite frequently the results of the urge do not find ready acceptance or reward. Isn't it possible that bitter ness may appear simply as a result of the writer, artist, poet finding that hi s work i s not accepted. And again, in respect of the intel lectual's ability to handle a larger number of concepts or ideas than the ordinary man, it may lead to him having difficulty in com municating himself to the mass of the people. Only a very small percentage ofthe population, consisting of similar 'superior minds', are likely to be able to understand. Possibl y the intellectual often overlooks this fact and mistakes the inability to understand for an unwillingness to understand, and his consequent disappointment leads to bitterness.

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KYK-OVER-AL 25 Finally, in this connection, is it not true that the bitterness i s greatly diminished by the time an intellectual a chieves even a measure of greatness or even recognition, except perhaps, where the bitterness has already become a pathological state. The other assumption is that a writer, an artist, or a poet i s automatically an intellectual. This is to credit some of them with belonging to the 's uperior mind' group merely b y reason that they have given evidence of po ssessi ng one or two of the attributes and abilities associated with thi s group. It i s possible to have and to demonstrate creative ability and at the same time be relativel y unintelligent in other respects. On the other hand a writer or an artist may simply be an extremely good technician and nothing more. The assumption requires qualification. These two assumption s are commonly accepted as facts. This is unfortunate, since it is under their umbrella that a large number of pseudo-intellectuals literar y fakes, artistic cranks, and poetic licences creep in and become accepted as intellectuals by the unthinking and uninformed. This is even more likely to happen in the colonial territories to which you have drawn attention, because of the lack of informed opinion which would be able to set rea so n able standards in these matters. I will not attempt to debate the reasons you s ug gest for intellectual poverty in colonial territories, except to point out that there is a natural numerical limit to the number of s uperior minds, and this is commonl y accepted a s being in the region of 4 % to 5 % of any population so o ne cannot expect any large number of intellectuals to be throw n up. The number i s less than can be expected on this basis, partly because of the rea so ns you give for intellectual poverty and partl y because there has been a trend in past years for such intellectuals as there were to leave the land of their birth and go elsewhere. Your phrase 'intercourse rema in s on the level of triviality is attractive in a literary sense, but the reason you give for it is superficial. There are a number of other points which appear to have a bearing on it. Firstly it i s not man y ye ars ago since there was no intercourse at all between the 'out si ders' and local people When opportu nities did arise they were purely social where, inevitabl y, the le ve l is one of triviality. It is only very recently that the climate has been such that more serio us di sc ussion has had an opportunity to flouri s h. That it hasn't flourished to the extent that one might have hoped may be due mainly to the fact that only a very small number of the 'outsiders' would la y any claim to be intellectuals in any event and for those who are the difficulties of full and frank discussion and criti cism being p e r so nalised arising from latent inferiority have to be braved. Finally, to return to bitterness. Undoubtedly, the intellectual has a considerable part to play in the development of an emerging

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KYK.OVER:AL society, and undoubtedly there is much to be angry and impatient about to act as a spur to action. But, must there be bitterness, it's such a negative emotion and the intellectual in these circum stances needs to be more responsible and more positive than he need be in a more stable society. There is so much to do. J.A.H.Y. Congrats on an excellent and very thought-provoking article. It takes a great deal of courage to write the 9th paragraph. What I find very marked is the absolute universality of your concept of the artist. It covers a whole range of chaps you make no distinction, for example, between poets, versifiers and hack writers. Purely from a personal viewpoint I would have liked to see you have a go at an all-embracing definition of the artist. As I say however this is purely personal. I am not sure that I agree with Yeats that bitterness is an essential ingredient to the artist. What I expect rather is the testiness, the impatience that the head-boy in the class would have with his less enlightened comrades. The essential ingredient to high art is, I think, a mighty theme such as the Western world has been lacking ever since the Jesus-theme became worn thread-bare by the poets. Perhaps the assaulton outer space will provide such a theme. If so, will the West Indian artist be in a position to stake his claim before the subject is monopolised by world-art? As a foot-note I might add that if the West Indian artist finds his inspiration bitterness in our socio-economic oppression in the past and our political repression in the present, when we shall have progressed so far from our past that it ceases to bite, and we will have achieved political independence, then the outlook for the West Indian artist will be gloomy indeed. I have already suggested that you include examples of outstand in g achievement in fields other than the academic. What you say about the intellectual and his role in an emerging society I find so utterly indisputable that it gives me a queer, familiar feeling as though I myself might have written it.

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KYK.OVER-AL The Dancer. By JACQUELINE de WEEVER. In the land of the dead the tall dancer paused awhile in hi s restless roaming. From where he stood in eternity, he could see a beautiful girl, still in time as yet alive, as yet untouched by love And his heart opened, and he loved her. Love gave him a brief respite from his eternal pain and in that short moment he resolved to save her from the fate which was his, the fate of those who have never loved. For with knowledge peculiar to the dead, he knew that she was one of those who dedicate themselves to an ideal, and thus forswear to love. He would become again the man he wa s before he had taken of the potion of death and he would win her love. He spun round and round in the darkness, so quickl y that h e could hardly be seen although his dancer's tight s were of such a brilliant yellow that he seemed to shine with light. He stopped abruptly, his arms stretched out in a pleading gesture and a s he crumpled to the ground he s lowly disappeared behind a thick mist. Marguerite opened her e yes. It had been like thi s for the pa s t week. Every night she dreamed of the tall man, almost as slender as bamboo, and whose skin was the golden bronze of the sun, He danced passionately his movements full of a vitality more powerful because of its restraint, and altogether giving the impression that he had come from another world Never had she seen such dancing, full of longing and desire so perfect and so utterly beautiful. Now the longing of his eyes his limbs his every gesture troubled her, for as yet she had not known love for any man. She was herself a dancer. She danced for the sheer joy of stretching her limbs, feeling the music flow through her, spreading her lovely arms upon the air. She was not strikingly beautiful and yet it seemed that she was clothed in loveliness particularly her hair which seemingly carried within its strands a thousand tiny lanterns. She carried herself with quiet dignity and grace and was, on the whole a delight to look at. Men had vowed to love her, and she had listened to them but her heart remained untouched for she was dedicated to the dance and felt that she could never love. And now, suddenly, s he had begun to dream of this vibrant dancer who filled her thoughts completely whose eyes spoke so eloquently of his desire for her, with whose movements she was intoxicated as with wine. Was it because he danced? The anguished dancing of the night before troubled her, and she went to her work, imagining she could see the brilliant yellow falI in front of her on the pavement. His finely sculptured features seemed to appear before her as she practised with the other dancers of the troupe, and she could pay attention neither to the music nor to the dire c tion s of the choreographer. She became alarmed when she realised that

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KYK-OVER-AL he was actually drilling her, and he kept her at her work after the others had gone, until she felt that she would collapse. from sheer exhaustion. When he did allow her to stop for the day, he was clearly puzzled by her apparent lack of concentration. "What is happening, Marguerite?" he asked. "You're not in your usual good form today. What's the matter? III ?" "I am very sory," she replied in confusion, "and I promise to do better tomorrow. I will try harder. I really will." She was so con trite that he let her depart without further questioning. After that day she dreamed no more of the strange dancer, and as the days wore on into weeks, she kept her promise, and danced so well that she astonished the choreographer. He gave her the leading part in a new ballet on which he had been working, and the whole troupe began practising on the dances. At the end of three weeks, Marguertie's dancing was almost perfect and she was much heartened by the praise she received. Her dreams of a month ago no longer disturbed her, and she had almost forgotten them. Then one day as she entered the practice room, she saw himtall, slender as bamboo, and as bronze as the sun, with his back toward her he was talking with the choreographer. She couId hardly believe her eyes and as she went towards them, her heart seemed to have stopped beating "This is our new dancer and he is going to be your partner in the new ballet. His name is Stephen." The voice seemed far away. She saw recognition in the dancer's eyes, and she was suddenly standing very still, outside of time her whole physical world had been rolled up like a blanket and thrown aside From a distance she heard the clap of hands, music penetrated her being, and gradually she regained her conscious world. Practice had begun. The ease with which the new dancer danced, the strength as well as the beauty of his movements his gracious attitude together with the ethereal atmosphere he created, all these things produced a complete bewilderment among all the dancers. When the dancing needed brilliance, his technique was as dazzling as the tropic noon-da y sun, and ye t he knew how to temper tenderness with melancholy, making it more moving. As for Marguerite, she found that when she stretched her arms to him she felt as if she were the dance itself welding the lines of her bod y to the fluid lines of the music. The weeks passed. Instead of dreaming of him at night, she was dancing with him durin g the day He was a silent man. Always she could read the knowledge of infinite sorrow in his eyes, and although she felt an impulse to comfort him she dared not s peak to him. There were times, however when it seemed to her that he wanted to tell her something, and at these times she was so

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KYK-OVER-AL 29 afraid that he changed his mind. After dancing, he seemed to le ave before everyone else and in the morning he simply appeared in the room. And then she began to dream of him again. His expressive eyes were sad as he leaned against the wall, studying her Why are you afraid of me?" he asked and the sound of his voice was like the whispering of the wind through a hollow cave near the sea. She could not answer him and in the silence he straightened himself and began to dance. Quietl y, almost inaudibly, music filled the room, and as s he felt a s trong desire to dance with him she got out of bed and matched her steps with his. Gradually the room changed, and she seemed to be dancing up a familiar street with Stephen. The moon was very new, just the bare s t cresent, and the pale moonlight cast shadows of the leaves on the ground making them look like a rich embroidery. The music became agitated as shadows of dancers floated down from the tree-top s Their dancing was fierce and full of passion so much so that it seemed that the passion of many ages had been waiting for this one chance of expression. They beckon ed to Marguerite but Stephen held her fast. She felt that she wanted to join them, to forget all else in the fire of the dance but s he could not. She looked at Stephen. His face wore a hollow, haunted expression, his eyes were filled with the agony of intense suffering. Seeing that their efforts were in vain, the dancers floated back up to the tree tops and the music once more became soothing and gentle. All night the y danced, and she did not know when the music stopped, or how she got back to her room, but s he awoke very tired. She knew that thi s time it was no dream that she had actually danced, and the sight of the shadow dancers Stephen's agonized expres sion, were still vividly in her mind. For two days after that night Stephen did not appear for practice, but on the third day he came. Marguerite had gone to the studio a little earlier than u s ual to do a little private work, and no one was there except the cleaning woman who opened the doors. As she danced, she leaped into the air, and as she came down, she was caught by a pair of strong hands and guided to th e end of the movement. Whirling around, she looked into Stephen'S eyes black eyes full of tenderness and y earning, eyes full of sor row Before she could speak, he said in his infinitely beautiful voice: "Where I have been I cannot tell yo u but I had to see yo u once again before I leave you forever." Where are yo u going," she asked in a frightened whisper. "If you cannot tell me that, take me with you." He looked at her steadily. "You do not know what you are s aying, Marguerite," he answered gently. "Where I go, yo u cannot come. Shall we dance together now?" She no more wanted to question him because of the expression on his face. It was the same haunted look she had seen in her dream. The music of the ballet filled the room, although there was no orchestra to play it, but stopped abruptly as the dancers began to come into the room

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30 KYKQVERAL At the end of the day, he left before everyone, as was his way, but when Marguerite got home there was light in her room, and when she opened the door, he was sitting on her bed. How did you get in ?" she asked in surprise, but he did not answe r She sat beside him and he said, "I cannot tell yo u anything about myself It is forbidden. But I am allowed to love you." He took her in his arms and held her face against his "Yo u have never l ove d, I know, and how I wish you would l ove me!" She wanted to tell him that she did love him, but the magic of his voice had cast a spe ll on her and s h e could not speak. She felt the weight of his head on her breast, and now the desire of his limbs agai nst her s was like thirst that had to be quenched, the desire of that first haunting dream of so long ago. The desire became a beseeching, and s he felt her body slowly unfold as do the petals of a bedewed hibi sc us under the wooing of the warm insistant sun. He did not go away immediately. For the rest of the week she practised and rehearsed with him i n the studio. She did not realise whenever s he danced with him the exactness he demanded of her was grad ually taking it s toll of her s light frame. She hardly ate, for she seemed to draw strengt h from her love for him. At last the first night arrived, the curtain went up, and the ballet began. The whole piece was full of a power and a beauty of w hich the critics had never dreamed, even in their wildest dream s Marguerite had become the music, and th e dance dominated her mind. As the curtain fell to the thunde r ous applause of the audience, she began to feel the fatigue of the endless weeks of hard work. By the time she got home s he seemed almost overcome with wear ines s, but her love for Stephen was stronger than her body, and s he would not let him leave her As s he t ook him to her bosom s he told him: "This i s too much of joy, Stephen. I cannot bear it. Perhaps it i s becau se I am so tired." He did not answer, for his heart was heavy. She could feel the violent throbbing in his breast, and as she put her hands in his hair, she said at last, I love you, Stephen." As the word s left her lips the throbbing became less violent. She knew he had opened his eyes because she could feel the delicate brush of his eye lashes against her throat like the brush of a moth's wing. Then he raised his head, and looked at her with eyes clear and calm, and free from pain at last. "It has not been in vain," he said, "and now my suffering is over. How I have worked to save yo u from the fate of those who have never loved who howl with the wind in winter, who roar with the sea in summer, who are forever without rest. I love you, and this is too much of joy, and I cannot bear it, my beloved!" and he covered her face with a thousand kisses The next morning the housekeeper found her dead, and found also a pair of brilliant ye llow tights on the floor of her room.

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KYK-OVER-AL On Writing History-, -An Administrative View. By ALLAN YOUNG The s ector of histor y-w riting with which I am most concerned i s the sector in which I m yself have recently been operating. I s hall therefore begin with a few o bservations on m y own approaches to "The Approache s to Local Self-Government in Briti s h Guiana."( I) To begin with, how is it that the book cam e to be written? The answer to this lies in a s ingle wor d encouragement. I was persuaded by a number of knowledgeable persons into believing that the material utilised for m y B. Litt. the sis ha s some hi s toric a l value tha t is practical and n ot wholly academic. With thi s e nc o uragement I embarked on the additional work of re-vamping, of amplifying and simplifying, of whittling down and amending the original thesis, to bring the book int o it s ultimat e form but it i s a fact, as I have mentioned in the preface to the book that the work was co nceived primaril y as an ad mini strat i ve and n ot as a historical study. This i s a point to which I will be returning. The ques tion may we ll be asked why is it that an ex-land s urveyo r / civil servant, currently concerned wit h communications and works, s hould aspire to producing a work on the s ubj ec t of local government what are the factors that influenced the choice of subject? The an swe r thi s time is not so simple. The foremost reason, I think is the fact that my Civil Ser v ice apprenticeship was served with the L o cal Government Board. This was my bapti s m in the practicalities of village administration from the inside. Several years later as C hairman of a village co uncil and later s till as a District Co mmi ssio n e r I was to com e to grips with the realities from the out s ide My early duties demanded direct intercourse with village co uncillor s and v illage overseers. Among these duties, I was as sig ned the responsibility for the printing of all village estimate s From these I gained a dir ec t and useful insight into the e ntire scope of the activities of the m a n y v illage council s and country authoritie s Every Friday a swarm of village overseers would descend upon the office with their pay -li s ts for the week's village wor ks. As assistant pay-ma s ter it was m y duty to see that the work was within the approved estimate, to check the arithmetical accuracy and to verify that everyone of thes e pay-sheets was certified by the village chairman and at lea st one councillor o r not -less than two councillors. I the n had t o examine the a ppropriate ledg er to see In course of publication by Lon gmans Gree n & Co., Ltd., in association with t he Extra-Mural Department, V C.W. I. and sched ul ed for release in June 1958.-Ed

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32 KYK-OVER-AL whether each village was 'in funds' from its rate collections, to the extent of the sum required, before writing a cheque for issue to the overseer to cover the amount. I later had to check the correctness of the stamp duties where these were required, and such other detail s as the correspondence of the signature at the receiving end with the name of the worker furnished. It was at this period that an event occurred that created in my mind a lasting interest in village affairs. This event was my first reading of the memorandum on village administration in British Guiana prepared in 1903 by Mr. A.M. Ashmore, the then C olonial Secretary. The memorandum itself is brief for such a document compared with many of the official memoranda I have since seen and it was quite unpretentious to look at, but the tale it told of bands of ex-slaves combining to purchase abandoned plantations, out of which they moulded so many of the villagers for which I was processing the pay-sheet s, caught and held my imagination My next stimulus in this direction was to come in 1937 with the publication of Clementi's "Con stitutio nal History of British Guiana".Though a constitutional work, Clementi quite gratuitously threw in two chapters on local government, Chapter IV of Part II on The MuniCipality of Georgetown and Chapter XV on Village Administration and Local Government. Clementi's two hundred thousand words on the history of the Colony's constitution made it quite unnecessary for me to adopt his pattern in reverse and devote a chapter to constitutional history in my short h istory of village administration. Thanks to Clementi, I could confine myself to the occasional reference needed to make some point, and to resuming the constitutional record where Clementi left off, but again merely for the purpose of argument. Clementi's chapter on village administration shed much more light on village histor y than did Ashmore's memorandum. Even so however, it is understandably a bald outline and what set my mind racing was not s o much what Clementi said as what he left unsaid. I found m yself asking m yself a number of questions I was curious to know a great deal more as to how the successive systems of village administration actually worked while they lasted, exactly what it was they has each tried to accomplish and the precise reasons why, and the way in which, they each had failed. A decisive moment came in 1951 when, like more than a score of other Guianese civil servants over a number of years, an opportunity came my way to do some intensive work in administration, induding research in some particular aspect. For the research, my natural choice was village administration in British Guiana, but I must confess that I had a moment of weakness. This came when I read for the first time Burn's "Emancipation and Apprenticeship in the British West Indies." The plight of the poor Stipendiary Magistrate, pressured between Parliament and Planter, striving heroically nevertheless to do the right thing as he saw it, awakened m y interest. The Apprenticeship came of course a century before the phrase "continental destiny had been popularised b y

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KYK-OVER-AL :'3 Sir Gordon Lethem. Burn clearly intended this book to cover British Guiana, and like a good Guianese I was incen s ed to find that it was confined almost entirely to the Jamaican scene, that in a book of 400 pages the r efere nces to British Guiana number only eight, all adding up to a total of less than three pages. The urge to make a si milar study for British Guiana was strong. But I soon reflected that our Stipendiary Magistrates had survived for more than a century beyond the end of apprenticeship and that in the meantime the apprentices themselves had graduated into full-fledged villagers. The post-apprenticeship relationship between stipendiary Magistrate and ex-apprentice was wholly unexplored. This was clearly tied in with village development. Everything pointed to the need for a history of village administration. I was not long in discovering too that the curio u s pattern of supersessive legislation outlined by Clementi was charac t eristic n ot on l y of pure village administration. It was evident in several other allied spheres. What was behind it all? There was only o n e way of finding out. I was back where I had started. For me historical research into village administration in British Guiana was quite inescapable. So much then for the existence of the book and the choice of subject. One of the most exciting features of historical writing on B r it i sh Guiana is the struggle for material. Generally speaking the problem is not so much a dearth of material as the difficulty of locating w h at there is, the maddening uncertainty as to exactly w h ere so m e link of vital information might be hiding itself -the question may be at times, on which side of the Atlantic? For the general historian some authentic work is now coming to hand, Clementi on Chinese Immigration and again on the Constit uti on, Nauth on the East Indians, Raymond Smith on Negro Social Evolution and my own work on the Villages. A history of sugar has been published in several volumes. In my own chosen field I was far less fortunate. Clementi's two chapters, a chapter in the Report to the Fabian Colonial Bureau on Local Government in the Colonies, scattered references in Profes sor Simey's "Welfare and Planning in the West Indies", two articles in Timehri -and the published literature on m y subject was exhausted. Dr. Marshall's report was not available until I had reached the concluding s ta ges. I was thrown back on the primary so urce s of material, always the most re li able in the end. Successive legislation against the back ground of the Court of Policy and Combined Court debates, a n d correspondence between the Governor and the Co l onial Office proved the most fruitful and dependable so ur ce, and one hitherto virtually unexplored and, so long as I was in the United Kingdom a so urc e that was readily avai l able through the Public Record Office and the Colonial Office Library. For those who may b e intere sted perhaps I might menti on that in the latter library there appears to be a gap of several voll,lmes in the Court of Policy Debates.

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34 KYK-OVER-AL I was to discover too that in British Guiana the complete han sard was introduced only from 1880. Prior to this only minutes of the proceedings were kept. Fortunately however, it was the practice to reproduce the debates verbatim in the daily newspapers of the time, of which a goo d supply is to be found in the Archives, Georgetown. I sa id earlier on that "The Approaches ... was conceived primarily as a n administrative and not as a historical study_ Perhaps I should now remove any possible misimplication by glancing briefly at the respective roles of hi sto ry and administration. What is history? It is, in m y view, the progressive total record of the efforts of mankind in its upward striving towards the fuller life. The raw material of history is human behaviour and human achievement. Human failure will a lso find a place, and the record will include such milestones as migrations and conquests, treaties and laws, di scove ries and disasters. Each achievement every fa ilure every effort in s h ort, is born of a prior decision. We must add to the record too the triumphs over the challenge of n atura l disaster, the challenge of flood and famine, earthquake and pes tilenc e, but w here disaster is concerned, it must be noted that a n a tural occurrence, ho wever cataclysmic, is never in itself hist o r y but only the germ of hi story, only a scientific fact in the physical evo lution of the inanimate region. A volcanic eruption in the Gobi desert or the Antarctic wastes is a matter not for the his t o rian, but for the scie ntist. "The event itself is as pure water from the pitcher of Fate". What makes history is not disaster itself but the effect of disaster on human beings. What makes history out of an Act of God i s the action taken by man to meet and deal with its effects. Here again action mus t be prefaced by decision in every case. Achievement, failure, the coping with disaster, these are born alike of decision. The histor y of a people i s therefore to be found in its national decisions, and what is public administration concerned with but the making of n ationa l decisions? This relationship between hi s tory and administration is not always apparent, for in the making of these decisions there must be in each case so me head of State ves ted with the ultimate respon s ibilit y, and in the pageant of world-history the untrained eye sees little ev idenc e of public administration, but only, at the summit of the nation a varied procession of High Priest and President Dictator, King-Emperor and Cabine t Minister, a proces s ion in w hich the Colo nial Governor very nearly finds a place, mutatis mutandis. To these leader s are p assin gly entrusted this ultimate responsibility, irrespective of the number of individuals who might each make a contribution towards the decision made on behalf of the nation This then, in essence, is the administrative view of history the record of the s uccessive national decisions of a people, in its upward striving on every front towards the attainment of the fuller life.

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KYK-OVER-AL 35 I van G Van S e rtima LIFE AND DEATH (Dialog u e on man's mortalit y a nd s ignific a nce ) THE MATERIALIST: Man's life is a mere adventure of nervous matter, a futile fever of the flesh, a gross melodrama of a billion bacillae. spirit of man is material essence of material substance, god electricity, the blind kundalini, mechanical motor-root of the accidentally animated atom-maze. Man is an ant in space, a speck of dust on a speck of dust, his world is only a dot on the map of the cosmos. Life of man is the inconsequential murmur in a themeless symphony: of what vital significance the pin-point flicker of flame against the immense and engulfing darkness of timeless infinity? or the inaudible patter of the water drop bursting amid the colossal cataracts that tluuble forever and forever in a chaotic and cataclysmic cascading? Death of man is a total disintegration, inglorious dissolution of cellular formation, end to an integral awareness of being. death is the absolute totality of effacement the awful precipitation into a vacant and hollow-socketed oblivion it is time's final liquidating trample upon the worm's ineffectual wriggling. death comes and the essence passes spirit of man sinks down into the earth like dew only returning in fresh unrelated moulds of fermenting substance. death comes : and the frail concoction of marrow and corpuscle is lowered like carrion i nto the maggoted mud to manure the flora and fungi on the star's epidermis when death comes.

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KYK-OVZR -AL THE IDEALIST: Death comes but man transcends it mounting triumphant from the trammels of the tomb he comes, mocking the meanness of matter, the magnitude of space, earth's pain and the flesh's darkness, time's tramp and the relative mortality of the stars. Death comes and the flesh collapses matter of man falls back onto the earth like mud but the essence never passes the river in man surges to life anew nursing upon the natal currents of divinity. Flesh is the university of the unsculptured spirit, mint of the ethereal germ, material experience, the evolutionary plastic for the casting of independent divinities. death of man is mere metamorphic dropping of the shell-cell, end to the gross caterpillar, shackle-striped acendancy of the angelic essence. Life of man is a vital movement in the grand universal symphony: Man i s an ant in space, a speck of dust on a speck of dust, yet bigger and brighter than the brightest and biggest of stars for what are a million worlds of gas and fire to five thought-tingling ounces of magically animated substance? what are all the chronicles of comets or the sagas of the suns to the history of one human heart? or what the grandeur of a moon or the intensity of a star to the subtleties and profundities the glory and magnificence of the human spirit? One infinitesimal man, one lilliputian image of divinity, is a cosmos in the flesh, a colossal creature of immeasurable magnitude! Man's life is the expression of divinity in matter, a glorification of the flesh, a million-mooded manifestation of the master spirit: spirit of man is eternal essence in ephemeral substance, god, the genius of the cosmos, superconscious intelligence throbbing at the heart of all creation.

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KYKOVERAL 37 Out Out the Fire. By MARTIN CARTEH (In this extract the description of the street in the c ity is followed by the discovery in the alleyway of a decomposing foetus, obviously tlzrowntlter e by someone who had undergone an abortion Outside, in the city the, sun burns madly up stairs in the sky. The st r eets blaze white near green grass, and gal va nised iron roofs s himmer like vapour. When the sun i s high the city lies rigid, tense and trembling in the stark li ght. And the sky is far away like a foreign country, and the clouds are lik e new sails on old s hip s sai ling forev er. Every street is straight and white like a chalk line. On either side houses stand up on stilts like angular insects, reaching for some thing to eat. The fronts of the houses are separated from the green parapets by fe nce s made of wallaba paling staves. But some are broken and jagged like sp linter ed teeth, dirty and discoloured The fronts of the houses are like open mouths and the stumps of the paling staves are like the stained stumps of broken teeth. And just as down a human mouth, the food of life goes everyday, just so into this broken mouth of the houselot, life goes everyday, passing forward and backward as if some giant face were eating with a morbid relish, spitting out the more tasteless m orsels and swa llowing all the rest The street is wide and full of dust. In the white s unlight it lies down passively. From the wide world come motor cars, lorries and vans, making a lot of noise, shaking up the white dust and leav ing the air fuU of the smell of fume Wooden donke y carts, creaking and shaking, rattle over the pieces of white marl lying all about. Dogs fight in the grass, snarling and snapping angry white teeth until they lock into each other, twisting violent muscles. And little naked black chi ldren, with rags for shirts, run about with discarded bicycle tyres, jumping over the furious dog s, the grass and the stones Sometimes, but sometimes only, the whole stree t goes s uddenl y quiet, as though everyt hing ha s stopped for a moment to listen to itself. But then it begins all over again, iron wheels turning sun wheels turning, sky wheels turning, life wheels turning, hub and rim, centre and circumference, point and limit core and boun dary. And when the sun goes down the whole yard becomes a slab of darkness, like a block of black ice. In the night-wrapped city, where the streets intersect, the light from lantern posts falls into ye llow pools o n dust and pebbles. Trees grow tall above the roof tops and some of them look as if they were trying to go to sleep. Crapauds in the damp grass begin to rattle and whistle like birds w h o can never fly. And even the d ogs bark with a different meaning The night is like a door that closes in the afternoon l ocki n g every thing into a black room And as it comes down, the s k y see m s to

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-KYK -OVER-AL rise high up into space, only to come down again. Below, in the streets, boys and girls on bicycles ride past men and women wa lking. And a donkey cart would appear around the corner moving s lowly The cartma n droops over the donkey's rump, half asleep. In hi s fist he clutches a bottle from the narrow spout of which protrudes a t onge of ye ll ow fire. And as the donkey wa lk s, the cartman rolls forwards and backwards in rhythm with the hooves. And in the ya rd s, the women si t on out at the spitt in g at the night, gosslpmg w1th their neighbours and l augh mg at themse l ves, i n strange and secret amusement. 4 Miss Agnes always sat out on her front steps watchi ng the s treet after dusk. She would sit down and look at the peop l e passing for an hour or two before going in to prepare for s leep. But as some body from the yard would come to l ook out too, she invariably had a compan i o n to talk to. That night she was sitting on her front step in the dark as usual w hen she suddenl y heard a voice from the s hadow s behind her. Lik e you looking out", the voice said. "Eh heh", Miss Agnes replied, turning her head to see who it was. She recognised Old Katie's voice and repeated, "Eh h eh, ah looking ou t iiI". Old Katie came up and stood beside Miss Agnes. "But wait! Wa s to ask you Is wha' kind of shrimp shells you throwaway in the alley dis morning." Miss Agnes started. The sudden quest ion surprised her. S h e did not reply at once but wondered why Old Katie had asked the question at all. Before she could say anything else Old Katie con tin u ed: "If you only smell the place now. It smell like some dead ram goa t bury with rotten eggs. I never smell nothing so bad in all me life." As she spoke she grimaced as though something was stuck up in her nose. In the dark her flabby face twisted around her nose like a mask of soft rubber. "But is wha' you mean at all" NIiss Agnes asked her after a moment. "Is on l y toda y I throw 'way dem strimp shells in d e a lley You ne ver smell shrimp shells before? she demanded, turning fiercely on Old Katie. Old Katie sighed. She was not a quarrelsome old woman so she said quietly. I custom to smelling strimp shells yes, but I ain't custom to smelling strimp shells like dem at all. I telling you, Miss Agnes, dem shrimp shells really smelling bad. But you must come with me and tek a smell for yourself." i\liss Agnes did not r eply. She was wondering how the few s hrImp shells s he had thrown away that morning cou ld ever sme ll as bad as Old Katie was making out.

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KYK.OVER-AL 39 "You sure i s shrimp shells you smelling m de alley", she asked quietl y, looking at Old Katie. "Is wha' den" the old woman replied. "Is only yo u use shrimps today and throw way de shells in de alley. It didn't s mell so l ast night, so it could only be you strimp shell s that got de place smelling so nasty." "Well", said Miss Agnes. "Well ah really don't feel like smelling no nasty'ting tonight. But if you sure is me shrimp s hells smelling so high in de alley, I going to come down in de morning and tek a smell foh myself." Old Katie turned away, grumbling to h erse lf. "Jus t fancy, she don't feel like smelling no nasty thing tonight! But I who living in de backhouse got to sleep with it, and bathe with it cook with it, eh! eh?" As she walked back through the yard to her house at the back she continued grumbling in her mouth. "But look at me trial" she grumbl ed "Dey come and dey throw way dey nasty things all about the place and when you talk to dem about it dey bex. People like them should live in de pasture where dey could do what dey like." She walked up her step and entered her little shaky hou se. Across the alleyway she could see the lights in the other houses giving off a sickly yellow glow as though the lights was weak and anaemic with living in all the darkness. And when midnight comes and ever y light is out except the street lights, all is quiet as a grave yard. In the silence the beat of the wind on the sea come s gently, floating over the sleeping roofs. In the grass near the land crickets and candleflies exchange place s on hidden leaves. Dogs snarl and bark out suddenly. And s omewhere in the world of night, a man lies on top of a woman closin g his eyes and emptying himself into the invisible depths of her body. And then when is quite empty, he becomes light lik e a feather and floats through the black silk cotton of sleep like a seed on wings. And far away to the North of the city the sea surrounds the world, dark under the keen stars. Up and down, forever and forever the broken waves run from shore to s hore from night to night and from man to n1an. 5. In the morning, bright and early, Miss Agnes went down to the alle y way. The sun was lifting itself over the city and the sharp light made clean shadows on the earth. The wind was fresh andmoist and the sky sparkling like wet gla ss "Ah come foh smell de ting you was telling me about l ast night", she called out as she came up to Old Katie's house Old Katie looked through the window. "Wha' h appen" s h e asked, "you mean to say yo u ain't s tart smelling yet." She lo oked at Miss Agnes suspiciously.

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40 kYKOVER AL Miss Agne ss took a noisy s niff, hold ing up her nose to the air. "You ain't got foh do all dat", Old Katie cried out, "just come round by the back step and y ou gin know." Miss Agnes walked around and took another loud sniff. Oh Jesu s Christ!" she exclaimed suddenly, Oh Jesu s C hri st, but is true. But is w h a got dis place smelling so bad!' As he stood up there s h e could see the sh rimp she ll s she had thrown away lying o n the ground. Surely those few shrimp shells could not be giving off that smell. And yet, she reasoned, it had to be the shrimp shells. There was nothing else lying about that could possibly give off s uch a cloud of sti nk. Miss Agnes stood up lo oking about her. She could'nt say any thing to defend herself. And all she did was to cry out again and again about the s mell. Behind her at the window Old Katie was waiting to hear what she would say. "You believe now ?" Old Katie asked, "you believe now about what I was telling you last night. And you only smelling it now yo u deh here standing up. But if you was like me living in di s house you would dead long ago. Last night the sme ll was so bad that I dream I was living in a latrine not no clean big shot latrine, but one of dem brum down nast y latrine some peop le got in the yard whe re dey say dey living And dis morning when ah wake up and s mell the smell, ah know de dream was not no dream at all. Because up to now ah got one spli tting headache." Miss Agnes turned around sympathetically. "Ah know how you must be feeling wid dis nastiness so near you." She walked away s lowl y wondering what she s hould do. As she turned around she noticed a piece of cloth stick ing out from under a pile of old boards lying half in the yard and half in the a lleyway. She walked over and lo oked at it curiously. As she bent down to inspect it the sme ll rose in her face like a den se spray of water. She put her hand over her mouth and bent lower. "But is wha' dis ?" Miss Agnes asked again. She looked around on the ground and picked up a short piece of stick and started to probe at the half-hidden cloth As she poked at it a piece of pinkish fabric broke away. "Eh Eh" she remarked aloud. "But dis look like blood." The smell was stronger than ever and Miss Agnes kept her mouth tightly closed so as to prevent any of the bad s mell going down her throat. Suddenly she jumped back a s though something had leaped from the ground straight into he r eyes. Oh Gawd s h e screamed, "Oh Gawd". She spun around to face Old Katie. I s a dead baby, i s a dead baby." She bawled, come quick."

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KYK.QVERA1.. "An' was dat got the place smelling so bad an' got me blaming Miss Agnes shrimp shells", Old Katie told Policeman. Policeman was writing in his notebook s tanding near the spot where the bundle s howed under the wood. Around his black uniform the women from the adjoining houses were discussing the pitiful disco very. They had all come running when Miss Agnes gave the alarm, leaving their pots cooking on the fires in their kitchens. "But why you all people don t go home and cook you husband food," Policeman asked them nudging one of the women with his elbow. They were all grouped around him listening as he spoke with Old Katie and from time to time they interrupted him. The woman he had nudged sucked her teeth loudly. "But like you is a anti-man nuh ?" s he asked, cutting her eyes at Policeman. All the women laughed out boisterously, and Police man looked back into his book writing industriously so as to appear as busy and official as possible. He knew he dared not attempt to exchange remark s with the women and so he tried to ignore them. The policeman was a young man with a dark brown sk in and a very serious expression on his face. The women knew that he was young in the police force and that he felt he had one of the most important jobs in the world and that he meant to live up to the dignity of it. He had been sent out from the Station when Old Katie went and gave the report. And now he was taking a s tatement from Miss Agnes who all the time had remained on the spot watching the blood y bundle that s hownd under the wood. "Is somebody living around here throw way dat thing", one of the women said. "But ah wonder is who", another asked, leaning forward as if to inspect anew and discover some clue as to its origin. "Is somebody living round here", the woman who ha s spoken first repeated again emphaticall y "Like you know is who", Policeman said s uddenly, turning to look directly at the woman. "Oh me Jesus", the woman cried out in alarm. "What I know about anything like dat. And to besides leh me go and see what happening to me pot before it boil over." She bustled away hurriedly leaving Policeman looking behind her inquisitively. He turned back to face the women. "Now listen", he said "if anybody here got any information about who throwaway thi s ting in dis alley, de y bettah come for ward right away. Because if yo u know and you don't tell is an offence." He spoke proudly aware of hi s authority. But nobod y answered. "Alright alright", he warned. "You all people want to li e down wid man when the night come and enjoy yourself. But when you get ketch yo u don't want to mind pickney. You don't think about the consequences All you want is the sweetness. Ah know a h know but we going to see what is going to happen Somebod y l oo king for trouble and is one of you As he spo ke h e frowned. The women, who a few minutes be fore were laughing at him now watched at him with troubled eyes.

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KYK_OVERAL "And this is a serious offence" he continued. He saw that he had them frightened and he was happy. "Last year in the country", he said, "a woman get baby and when the baby dead she wrap it up in an old newspaper and throw it away in de alley. And you know what happened? Was only be cause the Magistrate sorry foh s he that she didn't get jail." "Is true" one of the women said. Every eye was fixed on Police man. Standing in hi s black uniform stiff and erect, he seemed to tower over them. Suddenly Miss Agnes took a step forward. "But boy", she said without warning "But boy, is wha' you name?" She had been listening to Policeman while he was speaking and her su dden irrelevant question fell like a bucket of cold water over him. "Constable Cecil Jo e No. 4914" Policeman almost shouted, almost sal uting But as quickly he caught himself and relaxed. He glanced at Miss Agnes. "Like you is a botheration woman", he said softly with cold anger in his eyes. The question had really caught him and his im mediate parrot like recitation of rank, name and number made him feel ashamed. He realised how stupid he looked and he knew that the women who only a few moments ago were looking at him with awe, were now more or les s normal again and ready to laugh at him. Just then another policeman came up to the crowd with an old toffee tin in his hand. "You tek down the sta tement and everything" he asked Con stable Joe. "Yes ah got it." Well alright then, l eh we pick up dis thing and carry um down to the station one time. The second policeman picked up the bundle and put it in the toffee tin. "I am going to have to ask you some more questions", Con stable Joe told Miss Agnes as he started to leave. "This investiga tion only now start' Miss Agnes stared at him for a moment, then she laughed out wit h a forced bitterness. "Bur hear he!" she shouted at his back. "But hear he! You could start anything like inve st igation!" She turned to the women. But they had all begun to walk away and so Miss Agnes went back alone t hrough the yard to her room. And on the grey ground beneath her feet as she walked, the hard little brown ants journey through the dust leaving no trail. In the yard the lean chickens sc ratch with impatient feet at mounds of dirt, searching for a worm, a shrimp shell, a grain of rice. Green blades of grass choking beneath weeds, lean back their clean points to the land in a mute repudiation of light and sun. Only the winged marabuntas and the sle nder tailed pond flies dance through the air, flitting from earth-floor to roof-top and darting from cool shade to cool shade like memories seeking a place to rest. And high above, beyond the tall interruption of coconut palm heads, the unsympathetic sun burns out its white insistence, contemptuous of ant or chicken, grass or weed, roof top or dust, memory or wing.

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Book Revi e w The KYK-OVER-AL Kyk-Over-Anthology of Indian Poetry. (Editor A. J SEYMOUR, 1957) 43 There are many kinds of anthologies. I have see n polyglot anthologies. There are anthologie s made from the works of a single poet the Third Anthology of Jimenez Nobel Prize of 1956, springs to rhe mind. But the majority of anthologies belong to one of three main groups. First, the personal antholog ies in which the poems have nothing in common but the anthologist's partiality for them. The most common kind of antholo gy i s more conscious of its dury to literature, or perhaps to literary history; it attempts to give a representative select ion of the poetry of a national culture through the centuries ,the Oxford Books of Ver se in various languages are among the best examples. And the la st kind is what I may call the partial representative anthology the anthology that strives to present to us the poetry of a particular school or of a particular period. The various books of Modern Verse, Faber, Penguin, Oxford are obviously of this kind. It is to this last group of partial representative anthol ogies that our book belongs most. I say 'most' because, in the first place, it i s evident that the personality of the anth o logist must always influence the choic e of poems for inclusion, and perhaps more strongly, the choice of poems for exclusion. A. J. Seymour, the editor of 'Anthology of West Indian Poetry' (Kyk-over -al No. 22), is well aware of this problem. One of the questions he asks himself is whether he made 'a fair attempt to correct his own proclivities and see the best' It is well nigh impossible for a reviewer to cntlclse Mr. Seymour for his inclusions or omissions since o ne of the declared objects of this anthology is to make known the work of Caribbean poets to a larger public fo1' the first time. 'There are few who have seen the poems' I quote from the editor 's Preface to the First Edition of the Anthology' .... and of t he se fewer st ill have attempted to collect the individual booklets and the magazines in which they h ave been printed.' In such circumstances, I am quite prepared to accept Mr. Seymour's anthology with the reservations he himself make s, as a representative collection of contempo rary West Indian poetry. And with this premiss, it see m s logical to assume that the collection must represent faithfully the quality of the c ultural matrix of t h e poems. I am well aware that the question 'Is there a West Indian c ulture'-Culture with a West Indian C' is how Lamming puts it I know that this question has been wide l y, and ofte n hotly, debated in West Indian circles in recent years. Most of those w ho affirm that there i s, quite apart from the amusing circumstance s o f seeing them se lves as the high priests of suc h a culture, seem to me to be guilty of the sa me sort of fa llacy as those who see a University degree as the comp l etion of an education, rather than the completion of the foundations. 1 should describe a culture as a 'significant an characteristic flowering of the human spirit in a particular society'. This is my own definition; it i s muc h more limited and exigent than the definition of the anthro pologist, and necessarily implies a sign i ficant flowering of the liberal arts. How truly may we sa y that there is a flowering of the liberal arts in the West [ndies? Painting must be di s missed in spite of Guianese claims for Denis Williams ; Music has all the elements, but no great work as yet; prose literature has its Roger Mais and its Mittelholzer and poeu'y boasts the works of George CampbeJ1, E. M. Hoach, Harold Telemaque, D erek Walcott and of A. J. Seymour himself, fi\ 'e poets picked almost at random from the twenty-eight names represented in this anthology.

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44 KYK-ovtR-AL Let me be positive about this. I think lhat these poems image forth only the beginnings of a culture. That this s h ould be so is n ot hing to be surprised at, even less to be ashamed of. A comparison with the culture of Latin America should, I think, be more illuminating than that made with other Commonwealth countrie s b y the editor. Cultures are not propagated by seed, but b y layering. The layers of Spanish culture in America were struck over fOllr centuries ago with the foundation of the first Universitie s in the Island s, in Peru and in Mexico And yet it i s only in this c e ntury that new cultures have grown, in Dario, Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, to triumphant maturity and independence. The cultural record of the British Caribbean makes a sorry comparison The r e is not yet, as we are well aware, one single fully independent University; the placental layer cannot yet be severed. And the system of slavery was l argely effective in destr oying those elements of native c ulture in the looser se nse of both words, that we r e, and are, used to such effect in Mexico and Peru This sense of being despoiled of native culture wells up into the s u llen protest of E. M. Roach's I am the Archipelago The obeahman infect s me to my heart Although I weal' my Jesus on my breast And bum a hol y candle f01' my saint I am a shaker and a s houter and a myal mall; My voodoo passion swings sweet chariots low. I believe that this sentiment, expressed in o ne of the m ost movtng poems of th d collection, is negative. In this poem, Roach does not, as Mr. Seymour s u ggests a poet should, create 'out of his sens ibility the positive and encouraging v i ew (!)f human life nece ss ar y for t he devel op ment of the community. 'There is nothing positive in dwelling on the ruins of slavery, any more than there is i n the cry 'Back to Africa.' More positive by far is Telemaque 's appro2ch in the poem 'Roots', an attempt to create an identity in a setting:-Who with the climbin g sinews Climbed the palm To where the wi nd play s mos/, And saw a chasmed pilgrimage N faking agreement f01' his clean fell/m Whose heaviness Was heaviness of dreams, From dl'OWSY gifts Telemaque's al so is the s ucces s ful identification of poet wit h local habitation in. In Our Land. In o ur Land We do not breed That taloned king, the eagle, Nor make emblazonry of lions ; In our land, Th e black bird s And the chicken s of our mountain s Speak our dreams. One of the editor's assumpti ons I must challenge. I t i s this: that West Indian c ultur e i s the exclusive concern of th e Negro, whereas it i s a fact that in two of the important ter ri tor i es the Negro is in a minority. Mr. Seymour i s well aware of the fact, as hi s own poem The People not in this anthology -shows. It would seem, however, that he c ho oses to ignore the main implicati on, which i s that a dejinil' i ve West Indian culture and literature must be founded on a wider basis than at present. The contribution o f th e n on-Negro elements to the c ommon culture may well be highly sig nifi ca nt.

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KYK. QVERAL 45 I shou l d like to see signs of a forthcoming common cu ltur e based on the esse ntial unity of the human race, and on the absolute worth of the human person, in George Campbell's poem 'Holy', which I shall quote in full;-Holy be the white he ad of a negro Sacred be the black f1a.x of a black child. Holy be The golden down That will srteam in the waves of the w inds And will thin like dispersing cloud. Holy be Heads of Chinese hail' Sea. calm sea impersonal Deep flowering of the mellow and traditional. Heads of peopl e fair Bright shimmering from the Tiches of their species; Head s of Indian s With feeling of distance and space and dusk: Heads of wheaten gold, Head s of peoples dark So strong so original: A II of th e earth and the SUIl! Highly interesting are the poems that try to evoke a tradition. Keane's Fragments and Patterns' and the editor's. For Christopher Columbus' and 'The Legend of Kaieteur' Interesting too are the ce l ebrat i on s of things ve r y specifica ll y Caribbean She rl ock's 'Pocomania' and Keane's 'Interlu de Calypso' ... The re are many faults in the.poet s of this anthology, Too many affect an outmode d idiom, mea s ure s too pat or free verse too free. Banalitycreeps in,as in Una Marson's 'I thought the s i ght /might tear my heart / to pieces.' and the ludicrous, as in George Lamming's 'Today I would remember you w hom birth brought no lucky dip From to pluck a permanent privilege, . Very often, poetry see ms to be l ack ing complete l y -I am thinking especially of W. Ado lphe Robert s' G ra ylik e verse. And pretentiousness m ars m ost of Lamming. But there is much ge nuine feeling in these poems. I have already mentioned E. M R oa ch. Una M arso n 's Wh ere Death i s Kind', in sp ite of the fault I hav e mentioned, achie ves poign a ncy. And there i s ge nu i n e poetry. I shall conclude m y examination of these poems by quoting th e impetuous clanging mus i c of George Campbell's short 'History Maker s' W10men stolle breakers H ammers and rocks Tired child malm's Hapazard flocks. Stmng thigh Rigid head Bent nigh Hard white piles Of stOlle Under hoI sky III the gul(y bed. No smiles No sigh No moan ""Io men child bearers Pregnant fmcks !.'(Ii ljul toil shm'ers Destin y shape1's Hist01Y makers Hammers and rocks.

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KYKQVERAL The editor makes a strong plea for the building of a building of a 'bridge of communication' between poet and people, 'so that a unique way of life m ay be won and a culture made in which they may all rest.' It i s we ll to remember that 'poet' is a G r eek word meaning 'maker'. Whether the poet's functio n, as Mr. Seymour suggests, i s to make a culture, or only to make poems, is debatab le. W h at i s quite sure is that Mr. Seymour has in this anthology, built a good bridge to th e poet, so that we may see exactly what he is makin g, and how he is making ir. And for that we must b e very grateful to him. LAURENCE W. KEATES. R eveiew Kaywana Blood by Edga r Mittelholzer It must be, I suppose, more difficult to write a historicall1ovel where the characters live in recent times, within living memory of so many peop l e, because there i s then room for contradiction. Neverthe l ess Edgar Mitte lh o l zer ha s produced such a work in his l atest book, KAYWANA BLOOD, the l ast of t he trilogy dealing with the lives and loves of the van Groenwegelfa mil y, a stirring tale. As in the two previous n ove l s, the story of the famil y i s interwoven with an account of the history of British Guiana. This book, dealing as it does with the peri od from the n in eteent h century to the present, has as interesting a hi sto rical background as the others. In the hands of this excellent storyte ller it b eco mes easy to understa n d the frustration of the planters in whose memory the colony had passed unconcernedly from hand to hand, being in turn Dutch, French, Dutc h British, a nd at one time nearly achieving Swedish nationality. The story of the growth of the c it y from Longchamps chastely laid out in squares by the French, to the Dutch Stabroek, then Georgetown with its recurring ravishments by fire, wo uld fasc in ate anyone For those who are on one side or the other of the old argument about her edity and environme nt, there is much food for furt her debate. The 'Old Blood' comes out again in very much the same way as in the forme r generat i ons. In every gene ration of the family there is the son or daughter who becomes intense ei ther in love politics, or simply in defence of th e old family motto 'The van Groe n wegels never run'. In the end, very neatly, the family name dies out as t h ere are no m ore so ns to bear it, b u t the old blood contin u es in the many branch es who for various reasons, u se a different name, and who no w, have in their vein s not only the blood of their common ancestor Kaywana, but also tha t of just about every race which has settled i n British Guiana African, East Indian, Chinese and Portuguese. The fam il y has sprea d itself in a n o th er direction also and can now be traced in every level of society, from English ar i strocacy t o the most despicable of sma ll shopkeepers. Mr. Mittelholzer's favourite views concerning religion and sex are once m ore given an airing, and he presents ano ther facet of the picture of R ev J ohn Smith the famous missionary and martyr, one which is not usually told to c hildren in Sunday School. Anyone reading Mr. Mittelholzer's books must be aware of his se n s iti v ity to the beauty of trees, to the various mood s of the weather, to the mus ic of na ture. H e paint s nosta l gic picture s of a part of the country with whieh h e i s obviously intimatel y familiar. The story ends at the time of tlle 1953 e l ections, just at a p oint w h e n the reader would ask eagerly, 'And what happened next'. After following the fortunes of the van Groenwegel family through all the generations and through three centuries, it would be useless to suppose that everyone could li ve h appily ever after. They could n ot, not with the 'Old Blood' spread around in so generous a fashion. The o nly hope i s that in th i s ever new and modern env ir onme n t the family traditions will speak in gent ler tones, and that the new blood intermingled w ith the old w ill modulate the same old themes into new and richer harmonies. JOY ALLSOPP

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The most discussed magazine in Britain IN THE last three years Encounter has built up a reputation for i tself as one of the most stimulating reviews in the English language. Edited in London by Stephen Spencer and Irving Kristol it numbers among its contributors such distin guished writers as Aldous Huxley Isaiah Berlin, W. H. Auden, Lionel Trilling Edmund Wilson, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, Angus Wilson A J Ayer Bertrand Russell. and William Faulkner In addition to world affairs, Encounter publishes regular articles on world tra vel, literature and a rts. The work of many outstanding young writers has fir s t appeared ill its pages. Each issue contains some 60,000 word s of text and is remarkable value. Encounter i s humming with ideas and you are not expected to agree with all of them. But time and again you will find that your own interests are illuminated and explored by articles in Encounter. For instance, recent issues have contained "In Search of Asian History" by Dwight Macdonald, and "The Indian Alternative" by John Straclley. Other recent articles have covered such wide-ranging topics as Personality Tests in Industry, The Polish Earthquake". The American Voter, Why Russia is Strong The Dead Sea Scrolls, while on the literary side there have been appreciations of Walter de la Mare, Ezra Pound and James Joyce There is only one certain way of seeing Encounter reg ularly--by subscription. Place your subscription today either with your bookseller or direct with-KYK OVER AL C/o A. J. SEYMOUR 23, North Road, Annual Subscription / 2 /6, post free. Printed a t The Argosy" Co., Ltd.