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About the Book: HAITI, Cries From the Heart, Lamentations of a Son
Like the prodigal son returning home, this book is about my return home to Haiti after more than 40 years of living in the United States. But that is where the similarities end. I was not hungry and destitute, having wasted all I had on wild living, and there was no party for me from anyone when I arrived. Rather it was hurt and pain that awaited me upon my return. It was destruction, hopelessness and chaos; tent cities everywhere, the national park turned into a gigantic public restroom with port-a-johns lining the street. It was the National Palace in ruins, piles of rubble everywhere, it was dust, garbage, buckled roads, and a totally non-existent infrastructure: political, economic, social, judicial, medical, and educational, to deal with the dire condition of the country following the January 12, 2010 massive earthquake which in thirty-five seconds has wrought such destruction upon my homeland, once called “The Pearl of the Antilles,” but now simply known as “The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere.”
In this book of poems, I express how I feel, my anguish, my pain, even my remorse for having stayed away so long. I express my displeasure with the state of things even after more than two years, the conditions under which the people are still leaving, and I have tried to reconnect with the land, with my people, with my roots.
As I went about the country, my camera captured scenes that the CNNs and others news agency cameras would never capture because those manning these cameras do not understand nor do they have any emotional connection to these images. It is not about reporting the news, it is about presenting the life of a people, and their struggle to survive. I have chosen to share these pictures as visual expressions of this daily life of my people, the enduring beauty of the land, what I see and feel. It is my hope that they will add that extra dimension that no word of a poem can ever adequately communicate no matter how hard one may try.
The book is titled Haiti, Cries from the Heart, Lamentations of a Son. I believe that it says all that needs to be said.
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