Janie, cricketing lady

This anthology by Joan Anim-Addo (Mango Publishing, 2006 – available soon if not already) follows, in poems, Janie who loved cricket in an era when few people would take her seriously as a cricketer, who married and split, migrated to London for work, raised two girls and moved back to Grenada where, after Hurricane Ivan, she still resides supple and determined in her house on the edge of a ravine. It is dry, rhythmic and, sharpened by the dislocation to London, redolent with Grenadan landscape. And if it’s read out loud with a Grenadan accent, so much the better. These are the first three stanzas of the first poem:

Honouring her by Joan Anim-Addo

If soprano missing from pan,
The kaiso not sweet.
You tell us to get up an’ wave we hand
But rhythm not reaching we feet:
The kaiso not sweet.

So, with cricket. Plenty tenor as cricket.
Three W’s. Sirs Learie and Garfield made good play.
Clive and Viv gave us play worth our ticket.
Now, Bridgetown or Brisbane, men causing melee,
And the kaiso not sweet.

If old-time women were put in the closet,
Silence done, now. We outing all today,
For Windies woe-men cricketers in the fete.
It’s open secret: soprano must join the fray
To make the kaiso more sweet.

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