Sue Thomas


Mother Poem and Sun Poem are the first two poems in Edward Brathwaite's latest and as yet unfinished poetic trilogy. Both poems are set in the post- Emancipation period on the island of Barbados where Brathwaite was born and grew up. Like Rights of Passage, Masks and Islands — the poems of Brathwaite's first trilogy. The Arrivants — Mother Poem and Sun Poem are poems of multiple voices. Mother Poem traces the history of Barbados through the voices of working-class or folk women, a female slave, children and a debt collector, agent of the capitalist merchant; these voices are interspersed with the at times ideologically committed descriptive, at times directly protesting voice of the visionary poet, evaluating the folk women's uncritical consumption of white bourgeois materialism, religion and education (the last of these for their children), and the expedients associated with the socio-economic conditions imposed on working class married and family life by the plantation and its owner, the white mulatto merchant.



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