A reader who has never viewed Turner’s painting can imagine the slave ship destined toward England in the vast stormy ocean, the maimed limbs of the brutalized slaves being thrown overboard. But Dabydeen does not tell much about the “body parts protruding from the sea”, “a pair of hands and a leg that belong to slaves” who have plunged into the sea headfirst. Rather the scenario has been assimilated in Dabydeen’s narration of the history. In a real sense Dabydeen deals with the forgotten part of the history, he himself acknowledges it:My poem focuses on the sunken head of the African in the foreground of Turners picture. In Turners seas….it has been drowned for centuries. When it wakes up, it can only partially recall the sources of its life, so it invents a body, a biography, and it populates an imaginary landscape.The poem starts with a focus on a slave who has been thrown into the sea. Indeed Dabydeen has created two temporal environments for his readers: in one of them, the slave in focus remains afloat in oblivion “for centuries” and in other one, he awakes from “a lifeless sleep into remembrance and speech by a child, tossed from a “future ship” that drifts toward him” (Falk 125). Whereas the previous context prepares a historical plot in which a reader can easily be tormented and affected by the narrator’s nostalgia. But immediately the hope of future can enlighten him or her through the link between the past and the future. Dabydeen’s story moves smoothly forward keeping the readers in between the oppressed oblivious past and an imagined future, as. David Dabydeens Rewriting of Turners Painting.
Dabydeen, David. Turner: New and Selected Poems. Peepal Tree Press, 2002
Falk, Erik. Subject and History in Selected Works by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Yvonne Vera, and David Dabydeen. Karlstad University Studies, 2007
Please type your essay title, choose your document type, enter your email and we send you essay samples