Poems by Marva McClean
These poems are written
in praise of the creative, healing, and sustaining power and worship of the ordinary experiences that form the memories that
is the memory of my grandmother’s stories
Words raining on my head as she braided my hair,
Tales and wise words to journey with me throughout the ages,
Memories of the guinep tree swaying in the wind
Laden with sweet tangy fruits and the exuberant vocabulary of our play.
Culture is the river of words on whose currents I swim
Gasping for air, my life guard against drowning
Bridges to Memory
Exploring the Connection
Between Memory & the Imagination; Culture & Identity
Our rituals become the
substance of the memories that define us.
poems explore the cultural nuances and the historical mile markers that give shape and meaning to one’s definition of
self. They are written in praise of the creative, healing, and sustaining power and worship of the ordinary experiences that
stitch together the fabric of one’s life. These are the rituals that become the substance of the memories that define
us. And so we are able to leave our imprints that tell the story of our ancestral ties, the shaping of an identity, and the
assertion of self. For, we are memory keepers, weaving together the genealogical threads that become the fabric of our life.
this collection, I travel through a library of memories exploring the interior terrains of my life’s experiences, a
Jamaican woman born and raised in an era fraught with the struggles for independence and civil rights; living in a time where
millions are still disenfranchised and terrorism hovers over our shoulders like a hungry crow. Rooted in the crucible of the
Caribbean/African American Diaspora the poems reach out from personal and public spaces to capture the socio cultural currents
of a life being lived in this tumultuous post colonial era. These poems are a sociological exploration of what it meant growing
up in Jamaica. They also offer insight into the journey of one woman of color in the
Americas, making intimate connections
between past and present, and contemplations of the future.