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She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Brilliant, lyrical, and passionate, this collection from the acclaimed poet M. NourbeSe Philip is an extended jazz riff running along the themes of language, racism, colonialism, and exile. In this groundbreaking collection, Philip defiantly challenges and resoundingly overthrows the silencing of black women through appropriation of language, offering no less than superb ...more
Paperback, 99 pages
Published December 28th 1989 by Gynergy Books/Ragweed Pr (first published December 1989)
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Erica
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
REQUIRED READING FOR A DECOLONIZED WORLD. This should be the first book in any decolonized reading list of poetry. The essay at the end on language, power, and colonization is the most brilliant thing I've read in years on the subject. I wanted to cheer and weep while reading it. The struggle to make a language for ones imaginative capacity as a woman, a woman decontextualized and colonized, in a "politely but vehemently racist" society -- though I am not an African Caribbean and so that ...more
Sohum
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Some of the best poetry that has been written in this/these languages.
Colin
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"The Linguistic rape and subsequent forced marriage between African and English tongues has resulted in a language capable of great rhythms and musicality; one that is and is not English"

And one that is, in our age of standardized tests, increasingly disregarded as just such a forced marriage. This book's been around and still has much to say that we frequently fail to hear.
Ali
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Best title ever. lovely.
Muthee BM
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book from an elder who keeps teaching, pushing the i-magination, and always asking us to remember. She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks aims to live up to the title by interrogating language and how it came to be our "mother tongue", reminding us "English is a foreign anguish". I have loved "Discourse on the Logic of Language" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=424yF...) and finally reading it and seeing the form on the page is a great joy. The page is a stage where words ...more
Joe Shaw
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to Nourbese Phillip through her 'Zong!' Collection. She interests me a lot as an experimental poetic. I love how she uses the page to create a visual experience for the reader. I love this collection in particularly the 'Discourse on the Logic of Language' section. It is a very clever selection of poetry, which gives a chilling insight into slavery through mythology and children's tales.
Emily (emilykatereads)
Incredibly and brilliantly written poetry collection about being a black woman in a colonized country. This piece makes you think and take a really close look at the intricacies of language.
Aileen
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, feminism
A beautiful collection retelling the Persephone myth from a Caribbean perspective. The use of language and imagery truly showcase Marlene's talents as a Creole poet.
Stephanie McClure
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Favorites are "Discourse on the Logic of Language", "Universal Grammar", and "She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks".

Cat
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
really need to take a poetry class or something
Samantha
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
"each word creates a centre
circumscribed by memory... and history"
P. 96

"(5) Do words collect historical responses?"
P. 74
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M. NOURBESE PHILIP is a poet and writer and lawyer who lives in the City of Toronto. She was born in Tobago and now lives in Canada. In l965, when graduating from Bishop Anstey High School, M. NOURBESE PHILIP was awarded the Cipriani Memorial Scholarship for standing first in a Caribbean wide examination at the high school level. This award entitled her to carry out her undergraduate studies at ...more