Of Resistant Mothers and Women Turned Goddesses: Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Salmon Courage
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TitleOf Resistant Mothers and Women Turned Goddesses: Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Salmon Courage
AEDEAN 2008, 31: 587-598 ISBN-978-84-9749-278-2
[Abstract] Salmon Courage (1983) is Marlene Nourbese Philip’s second collection of poems, published three years after Thorns, her first book, and six before the outstanding She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks. Salmon Courage follows the thematic and formal lines opened up in Thorns yet showing an evolution in form and content, pointing to the directions which will be fully developed later on in her best-known, fully mature poetic work. In Salmon Courage her principal focus is on women, both per se and as mothers. Women are presented as strong and venerable, to the point that they are accorded godly qualities. It manages to repair several wrongs: that of the cultural dispossession meant by the Middle Passage for Afrosporic peoples (particularly women) and that of being forced to live in white- and male-dominated societies which condemn women to live in a state of perpetual oppression.