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Night When Moon Follows.

Night When Moon Follows by Cheryl Boyce Taylor Long Shot Productions, March 2000 $12.20, ISBN 0-965-47384-8

Bursting with life, love and death, lush as a tropical forest and pristine as the clear waters of Maracas Bay, Taylor's second book of poetry is a sensual pleasure. Born in Trinidad, she sculpts images from Arouca to Manhattan using the elements of a natural landscape that form the body of her poems and refract the sentiments of the poet, bending the light of each phrase to reveal the shadow moons that lay underneath. Each section of the book focuses on one of the three imperative aspects of the self: the triumvirate in its spiritual, the social and the physical.

Her deft ear for the spoken word crafts each moment with a spare grace. In "Dulce," the richness of her culture is the only thing a mother has to give. She urges, "gurl leggo yu bumsee / shout an bawl/doh mind yu small / dis iz carnival / dis iz we history / ah gein yu meh only legacy ..." In "Always" Taylor elucidates the struggle to preserve the self against the ravages of diabetes: "always in the mirror / in the dream / hospital bed is high white / stacked with sugar coated bones." She flirts with the danger and beauty of love in "August City Swings": "i'd embrace your words/ dive into their ocean/lifelike and unruly/let your hard hand split me/ like a flower/ with your razor of promises."

Throughout, Taylor weaves a song of anguish, spirit and celebration in the magnificent "Water," commissioned by choreographer Ron K. Brown, "death must wait / I have three lives and water to rock me / and i'll dance a blue river / dance a blue river / calling the names of our sons ..." In Night When Moon Follows, Cheryl Boyce Taylor shares struggle, wisdom and triumph as a moon filters its light through the darkness. She has gifted these poems that chant spirit, chant love, chant life, inviting readers to join the chorus.

R. Erica Doyle is a poet and writer of Trinidadian descent living in New York City.
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Author:Doyle, R. Erica
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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