Rivers of Time
Cy's poems are sparks of light thrown off from a life lived to the fullest. They are rooted in the British West Indian colony of British Guiana, then track through the trauma of WWII Europe where as a RAF navigator the author was shot down over Holland and incarcerated in a Nazi prison camp.
Having fought for the mother country, the racial bar on his chosen profession pushed Cy into show business – singing the news in calypso; theatre; movies – then into taking on the inherent inequities of British society, by setting up Drum the first black arts centre, followed by his production of the Concord multi-cultural arts festivals. The poems map the poet's route, from the Keats of empire through the senseless loss of war, to the anger of the sixties, culminating in a 2-year national tour of Aimé Césaire's Cahier – a tour de force of black discovery and reconciliation. This transcendence was completed by his immersion in the non-dualist philosophy of the Tao Te Ching and an in-depth study of the steel pan, the gift of the West Indies to the world; a transmutation of industrial waste metal into healing sound. And so the later poems find him creating alternative healing realities at the crossroads of so many different journeys; enriching us like the panman, from basic materials – in his case pen and paper – and from the soul.
edited with an introduction by Ian Dieffenthaller
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