Vladimir Lucien enthralls CHS Literature girls

Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2016 Published: Friday, 28 October 2016 Written by Allyna Bernard

On Thursday 6th October, the fourth and fifth form morning literature classes, accompanied by our teacher, Mrs Daria Sorhaindo, went to the University of the West Indies (UWI), Open Campus to listen to an interactive and rather interesting lecture by Vladimir Lucien. Lucien is a writer, poet, critic and actor from St. Lucia. His poems and stories have been featured in many books including Wasafiri. Today, he is well known for his newest book ‘Sounding Ground’ which features his intelligent, deep and musically tinted poems.


Lucien began his interactive lecture speaking about what he does, feel and hopes to achieve whenever he writes. He said that when writing he thinks of how readers will react, he thinks of what mood is being set and what point or points he is trying to bring out. Throughout the session Lucien read many of his poems from his book ‘Sounding Ground’. The students got a chance to listen to very heartwarming, and emotion poems, as well as, funny and joyous ones. Within every one, they could feel the tension and could relate quite well to them. Lucien’s poems were mixed with West Indian dialect which brought a better and deeper understanding in every poem. There were certain sentiments that dialect and language released.

In his poem ‘Good Hair’, Lucien was relating to his high school years in St. Lucia. Boys with natural hair were expected to cut them down to the scalp but he, as well as a few other boys, hid their natural hair by moving it back with gel. Lucien compared the hairstyle with that of the men in the Temptations Singing Group. The principal of the school later discovered their trick and made every one of them cut their natural hair. Males of African descent cut their hair in school for that is considered ‘neat’ ,yet, caucasian males may have their natural flowing hair.


Another poem entitled ‘Ranks’ was about a boy, an overall good boy. He did his homework, was respectful, and calm. It came a day when his mother came to school and beat him in front of the piercing eyes of students and teachers, and from that moment he changed drastically. No longer did he do his homework, nor was he respectful or calm. From then on, not a soul remembers any of the good deeds he had done before but now only remembers the bad.


After reading his poems, Lucien spoke about how society on a whole has a rather subtle totalitarian system and how hard it is for one to expose their natural gifts and capabilities. Everyone has their own uniqueness and individuality. Society creates its own definition of what is good and bad, wrong and right. People forget the good in others and forever remember the bad even in death. So many realizations flooded the students’ minds. A newfound appreciation for analyzing. It was then that they , the classes, knew that nothing is as it seems.


Before ending he stated ‘Poetry is taking the factors and knowledge from your environment, relating it to yourself and releasing it back into society.’

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