He’s one of black Britain’s most revered wordsmiths; in 2002 he became the first black poet to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series; and earlier this year, the poem that this extract (below) is taken from was listed in the Southbank Centre’s 50 Greatest Love Poems list.
Oh, and it’s his birthday today.
Hailing from Jamaica, he came to Britain in 1963 and whilst still at school he joined the British Black Panther Movement.
But it was his poetic prowess that earned him his greatest acclaim, with much of his work being politically motivated and dealing mainly with the experiences of being black in Britain.
“Writing was a political act and poetry was a cultural weapon,” he once said in an interview.”
It is of course Linton Kwesi Johnson, who celebrates his 62nd birthday today.
The much-loved poet is well-known for delivering his lyrics in Jamaican patois over dub reggae and is famed for poems including Di Great Insohreckshan and Sonny’s Lettah.
Johnson is the second living poet, and the only black poet to be published in the Penguin Classics series, with Mi Revalueshanary Fren in 2002.
But amongst his political works is Hurricane Blues (video below). The poem that our featured extract was taken from, Hurricane Blues is written in Jamaican dialect and sees its narrator sweetly reflecting on a past love.
Here’s wishing Linton Kwesi Johnson a very happy birthday.
If you want to create your own love story, join http://www.dates4us.com
Hurricane Blues by Linton Kwesi Johnson