Today's writing artist pick is Jamaican poet, writer and painter Jacqueline Bishop. She is the author of River’s Song, Fauna, Snapshots from Istanbul, My Mother Who Is Me: Life Stories from Jamaican Women in New York and Writers Who Paint/Painters Who Write: Three Jamaican Artists. Bishop founded and is currently still editor for Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters, an arts magazine that focuses on highlighting Latino and the Caribbean voices. Below is her poem Transmigration of the Souls.
Transmigration of the Souls
The things that women fear and worry about are different from the things that men fear and worry about. Put another way, our concerns, our preoccupations, do not line up,
like soldiers at attention, one behind the other. When I married my cousin Charles Darwin, my friend since childhood, I knew that I had married a thinking man.
Before I married him I knew about his thoughts on transmutation, the writings
that filled one notebook after another. Time and time again he would come back
to the idea that people now so easily call Natural Selection, circling it, as astutely as
a hunter circles its prey. Somehow I knew even then that one day he would do the
unthinkable: take God out of the equation altogether and just that thought alone made him sick, made his entire family sick, with one ailment after another. Charles, in fact,
was never again to enjoy the robust health he had enjoyed while voyaging on the Beagle.
I want to be able to say that I, Emma Darwin, never questioned the means and motives
of my husband Charles Darwin, but that would be a lie. For it was as a wife, a woman,
and the mother of his children, that I cautioned him: Charles, be careful in what it is
that you are bringing to fruition, this thing that you are so hunched over in your study, day after day creating, for your doubts and assignations and endless questioning might so
anger the God I still believe in that he prevents us meeting in the afterlife and, like we have long wanted, always belonging to each other
- Jacqueline Bishop
~ Nia Andino ~