Shell-I Carry Much More Than Bodies.
-Brace yourself for whirlwinds coiled at my heart- Gastropoda.
Reading Olive Senior's poems(or novels), one cannot help but to be in awe at the knowledge held within each line and to become reflective as we ponder the simplest of items that carry such history or are a main part of our existence.
These poems pull light and dark from our past, bringing our present into stark clarity: So if in years to come some people might be mad enough to search for us, to trace our passing, they would have to dig deep to find us here, sift ashes, measure bones and beads and shell discarded- Excerpt from Shell.
Like a shell that holds the markings, memories of the life that once wore it, so does Senior trace the lines, ridges, mountains, and valleys of our island, our region. Every part has a meaning, a story to tell, all one must do is hold a shell to your ear, take a breath, calm your mind, and listen. It's right there, waiting to be heard.
I got goosebumps, chills, heat flashes, everything while reading these poems. Not only are they history, they are the stories of those who came before, who left their mark, for us to see, learn, and remember.
Encased within every shell, a part of our past, with threads of beauty, bite, and strength. Senior is unapologetic as she traces our island's story and these poems are brilliance laced with iridescence and fire.