Words, nevertheless, and our attitudes to them, are the heart of the matter, the site of contention between dub poetry’s true believers and those of us applauding only some of the talent. Offered Mikey Smith’s ‘Me Cyaan Believe It’, for example, or Linton Johnson’s ‘Reggae fi Dada’, or Jean Binta Breeze’s ‘Riddym Ravings’ we can enjoy the value-added of performance. For though everybody knows that dub poetry is meant to be performed, and
though some poems are most fully realized in performance, people who enjoy poetry (and not only ‘dub poetry’) tend to be biased in favour of poems that offer riches before and after, not only during or because of, performance.
They privilege the word. Like Gordon Rohlehr we are drawn to ‘the more complex abstracts from experience, in preference to simple statement of it, we need ‘to feel that a writer is trying to use language imaginatively- any language in which he chooses to write.’
Found in ‘Dub Poetry’? by Mervyn Morris.
Source: Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4, Conference On Caribbean Culture In Honour
Of Professor Rex Nettleford The Literature Papers: A Selection (Dec. 1997), pp. 1-10
Image source: http://www.speaking-volumes.org.uk