The Twist In a little shanty town was on a night like this girls were sitting down around the town like this some were young and some were brown I even found a miss who was black and brown and really did the twist watch her move her wrist and feel your belly twist feel the hunger thunder when her hip bones twist try to hold her, keep her under while the juke box hiss twist the music out of hunger on a night like this. — Edward Kamau Brathwaite
Summary of “The Twist”
“The Twist” by Edward Kamau Brathwaite depicts a lively night in a shanty town where people gather to dance. It particularly focuses on the energetic and infectious dance style called “the twist.” The narrator describes the diverse group of girls participating in the dance. He portrays their youth, varying skin tones, and enthusiastic movements.
The poem captures the excitement, hunger, and rhythm of the music, as well as the sense of community and joy that accompanies the dance.
In other words, on a lively night in a poor community, young women are dancing passionately to the twist. The narrator finds himself captivated by one of them, an attractive mixed-race woman, by her moves and sensuality. He describes the physicality of the dance and his own growing desire.
About the Poet
Edward Kamau Brathwaite was born on May 11, 1930, in Barbados. He was a widely celebrated Caribbean poet, scholar, and cultural theorist.
He held a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex and was a professor of comparative literature at New York University.
His famous works include Rights of Passage (1967), The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy (1973), Middle Passages (1992), and Elegguas (2010).
He was a recipient of numerous literary awards. Some of them include the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1994 and the Griffin International Poetry Prize in 2006. Edward Brathwaite passed away on February 4, 2020.