Martin Carter and his poems
Apart from ER Braithwaite, June is also the month in which another Guyanese writer was born. In this case it is a poet and a major writer who, although he has held other jobs and played other roles at a national level, his career was emphatically focused on poetry. As an artist he was the essential poet whose thought, intellect, social, political and human concerns were as much defined by poetry as they were defining influences upon it.
Martin Wylde Carter (1927-1997) is acknowledged as Guyana’s greatest poet to date, and one of the major and most important writers of the Caribbean. He was born in Georgetown on June 7, and during this month the Department of Culture in Guyana is celebrating his 85th anniversary with The Martin Carter Memorial Lecture Series. On Thursday June 28 at 5.30 pm in the Umana Yana the 2012 Martin Carter Lecture will be delivered by Dr Rupert Roopnaraine on the subject “From The Terror and the Time (1976) to the Poetry Notebooks (2002): Encountering Martin Carter.” The reference in the topic to The Terror and the Time is linked to a film with that name produced by The Victor Jara Collective in 1976 commenting on the human condition in Guyana placed in and arising from the political history of the Guyanese labouring people. It highlights the struggles and focuses on 1953.
The film itself borrows its title from Carter. It is taken from a line in University of Hunger – “they come treading in the hoofmarks of the mule / passing the ancient bridge / the grave of pride / the sudden flight / the terror and the time.” The poem draws from the experiences and suffering of the proletariat embodied in the …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.