The title of Sylvia D. Hamilton’s poetry collection, And I Alone Escaped To Tell You, is a verse lifted from the Book of Job, 1:15 and aptly documents the historical events, memories and lives of early Black Nova Scotians, many of whom sailed from the United States to start anew.
Hamilton’s poems weave together a tapestry of African diaspora. In “Excavation” she writes, “I am not the navigator on this journey./ I am more than a passenger, but not the captain./ Longing for that which is not, for what could have been,/ for that imagined place.”
Hamilton writes with astute grace. Her poems are a meditation on the internal and external journey, how one finds themselves in a place, and inevitably a place within themselves. How where we come from charts the landscape we inevitably call home, and how true freedom can only be experienced, within and without.
And I Alone Escaped To Tell You
by Sylvia D. Hamilton
$19.95, paperback 96 pp.
Gaspereau Press, April 2014