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Web of October: rereading Martin Carter

Web of October: rereading Martin Carter

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This original and meditative text combines an intensive critical reading of 'You Are Involved', a celebrated poem by the Guyanese poet Martin Carter, and a series of 'poems of October' written within the spaces of the essay.

The essay's functions are multiple: to draw attention to Carter's poetic art, to rescue his work from too narrowly political readings and to explore the relationships between language, art, politics and philosophy. Roopnaraine writes with a depth and lucity that are exemplary. The poems of October include graceful songs of parting for Walter Rodney, Maurice Bishop and several who created art in Guyana and homages to others trying to maintain decency and integrity in a beleaguered country. The function of the poems is to insist on the irreduceability of individual human experiences as the touchstone of all political projects.

Without referring expllicitly to these events, Web of October casts a sorrowing gaze on the consequences of forgetting that touchstone by his fellow comrades in Grenada where Roopnaraine had been called to try to intercede between the warring factions.

Rupert Roopnaraine was born in 1943 in Guyana. He is political leader of the W.P.A., a film-maker, art critic and former cricketer.