Sean Bonney: Poet Out of Time
This chapter examines some of the gothic tropes in the work of British poet Sean Bonney, alongside his allusions to folk song, Ranter rhetoric, the Rimbaud of the Commune, and the submerged histories of London. These ‘countertraditions’ contribute to Bonney’s poetics of revolutionary temporality, a radical orientation toward both the past and the future which is opposed to capitalism’s ‘abstract time’. The chapter considers Bonney’s theorization of prosody, and his debt to Black music and poetries. It suggests that some of the limitations of Bonney’s revolutionary poetics become clear in comparison to the temporal legacies of slavery, what Christina Sharpe has called ‘wake time’, and the artworks that have emerged from it, particularly the poetries of Dionne Brand and M. NourbeSe Philip.