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Mi Revalueshanary Fren [With CD] [Paperback]

Linton Kwesi Johnson , Russell Banks
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.44
Price: 9.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

Sep 2006
A selection of Linton Kwesi Johnson's poems over three decades. Ranging from protests against police brutality to eulogies for departed friends and playful celebrations of urban life, Johnson's use of Jamaican dialect to tackle distinctly British subjects contributed to a revolution in the notion of literary English. Mi Revalueshanary Fren charts the unique literary talent of one of Britain's most influential poets and social critics.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Ausable Press; Pap/Com edition (Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931337292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931337298
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.2 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamica in 1952. He came to Britain in 1963. Educated at the University of London, he was awarded a C Day Lewis Fellowship in 1977. Johnson's first collection Voices of the Living and the Dead was published in 1974 and he went on to published four collections of poetry and a number of albums. Johnson continues to perform internationally and his work has been translated into italian and German. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matter Of Fact 1 Jun 2003
In 1984, aged 14, I was introduced to the work of LKJ by my brother who brought home a copy of LKJ's vinyl album 'Making History'. We were big fans of U2, who were also Chris Blackwell "artistes". I've been listening to oblique reading LKJ ever since. As for the '2, well let's just say they went pop. And this slim volume Mi Revalueshanary Fren I have picked up and read every other day since I got it, especially 'seasons of the heart' and 'inglan is a bitch'. the book's paucity of words makes the contrasts all the more complete. But that paucity is a spareness, sometimes terse. Honesty
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Poet Laureate 1 Mar 2003
As well as a fine selection of Johnson's dub poetry this splendid collection includes some of his more conventional works. Leaves you wanting more - much more. Johnson's compelling style means that anything he puts his mind to becomes a fascinating subject for a poem - all aspects of human experience are here.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
His works cross from the racial tender box of the 70's to the 90's althoug i personnally feel the most the earliy works have the most passion but how could that be anyway with the brixton riots and the sus laws pre-dating that. Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 16 Feb 2005
I hope Linton Kwesi Johnson knows how good a poet he is.
I hope Linton Kwesi Johnson fills with pride when he catches a glimpse of this in a bookshop.
I hope Linton Kwesi Johnson never falls out of love with poetry.
From front cover to back we see a tap natch poet growing in stature and confidence.Buy this penguin classic for yourself.Let others decide for themselves.Beautiful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to dub poetry 24 Jan 2009
By Darryl R. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Linton Kwesi Johnson, also known as LKJ, is the most celebrated of the dub poets, and Mi Revalueshanary Fren is an excellent introduction to LKJ and dub poetry. He was born in Jamaica, and moved to Britain as a child in the early 1960s, a period in which thousands of Jamaicans and other West Indians migrated to the UK. The new arrivals experienced a great deal of culture shock and prejudice, and most had to work in menial and degrading jobs. During the Thatcher administration there were several notable clashes between the residents of Brixton, a London neighborhood that was home for many of these immigrants, and the police, including the 1981 Brixton Riot. LKJ describes the simmering tension in Brixton in "All Wi Doin Is Defendin", which was written before the Brixton riot.

Other poems in this volume provide a history and commentary of the experiences of West Indian immigrants in London, both good and bad. There is a great deal of humor and joy in LKJ's poetry, along with the anger and bitterness that the community experienced. "New Crass Massakah" describes the tragic New Cross fire of 1981, in which 13 young blacks died during a house party, which many in the community felt was an act of arson.

LKJ is widely admired in the UK, and he is the second living poet to be published in the Penguin Classics series.

In addition to writing poetry, LKJ, along with other dub poets, reads his work over reggae music, and has released several albums under his label LKJ Records. This book also includes a CD, "A Cappella Live", which includes 14 poems from this volume.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Palliticks ar the vowels `i,' `a,' and `e' 12 Feb 2008
By Jerome Titus - Published on Amazon.com
Linton Kwesi Johnson's work, My Revalueshanary Fren, beats with the rhythm of reggae and dub but rocks with the non-stop thrum of the real, down-to-earth, local politics of Afro-Caribbean life in urban "Ingland." Is it coincidence that Johnson chooses to rework the first letter and first vowel of the place name of his own personal diaspora? No, because Johnson's poetry is so local and personal that the "I-" shouts to be heard and the "In-" is the inclusiveness that the narrative voice demands, repeating "we are here to stay/inna Ingland/inna disya time yah . . . / (p. 23).

The repetition of the "in" sound makes the reader hear that Johnson is in England and yes, to stay. Johnson uses the sound and inflection of this initial vowel to convey purely political intention, not an easy task since a listener can easily miss the poetry amidst the sheer brutality of the events he recants in "Five Nights of Burning."

Another initial vowel sound that he employs is the use of the letter `a." Few other words delineate a Jamaican voice from another Carib voice than the way the simple preposition `or' is pronounced, and written by Johnson, as "ar." This hard, clipped semi-guttural usage of the letter a contrasts with the soft o sound of the long double `aa' of `waaking' or the softer, often used `pan.' These two words do not connote political overtones but rather infuse the poems with the melody of street voice, providing a much-needed counterbalance to the "showah every howah" of "people powah" (p. 67).

As the street voice blends with the politicized, the sections of the book meld. The sometime melancholy narrative of the last section reads as milder ballast against the shower of rage in the previous sections, notwithstanding the litany of fallen heroes in "Liesense Fi Kill." However, the power of Johnson's word-play to still polemicize in this more ruminant section is apparent by the addition of the letter `e.' Official proclamations surrounding these `sus' deaths turn the government's own use of the word `suspicion' upon itself, accentuating the `lie."
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