David Dabydeen, Turner: New and Selected Poems

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“Turner”, a long narrative poem written by Guyanese poet David Dabydeen, was first published by Jonathan Cape in 1995. The poem is a response to British painter J.M.W. Turner’s

Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhoon coming on

, often called simply

The Slave Ship

. The painting, which was exhibited for the first time in 1840, depicts the events of what has become known as the

Zongc

massacre (Frost 371). In 1781, the captain of the slave ship 

Zong

 ordered the drowning of approximately 132 African men, women and children bound for Jamaica to be sold as slaves, when the ship ran out of potable water. Slaves who died from natural causes would not be covered by insurance, but slaves thrown overboard were considered as a loss of cargo and ship owners could reclaim their…

2791 words

Citation: Howley, Ellen. "Turner: New and Selected Poems". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 March 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12726, accessed 29 February 2024.]

12726 Turner: New and Selected Poems 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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