Nancy Anne Miller Reads Poem “Pearl”

March 27, 2019

Bermudian poet Nancy Anne Miller recently read her poem Pearl from her chapbook Conch, which the Bermuda Arts Council funded in 2002; this is her second reading as part of Angles of Light: Readings of Caribbean Poetry.

Ms. Miller said, “I read my poem Pearl from my chapbook Conch which the Bermuda Arts Council funded in 2002. The poem is named after the family ship “Pearl” which sank during the mid nineteenth century. I use this incident from Bermuda’s maritime history to metaphorically write about owning my own poetic voice, and ultimately for discovering and claiming Bermuda as my main subject matter.


The sun’s steering wheel
turns the large house,
inside photographs radiate light,
link into a string of pearls.

“Pearl”, the family ship,
sank during the nineteenth century,
shed a cargo of onions
to bead the ocean floor.

Women’s mouths are sealed
into the thin edges of an oyster
wearing a choker of pearls.
A necklace of small restful

moons shines out under
hushed voiced waves,
when a woman does not plunge
into her own stormy depths.

A spokesperson said, “The collection of poets reading from the Caribbean also includes the Saint Lucian poet, Kendel Hipollyte, and former Jamaican Poet Laureate, Mervyn Morris. Both have visited Bermuda as Writers in Residence in the programme backed by the Dept of Cultural Affairs and under the guidance of our Folk Officer, Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson and Heather Whelan.

“Each poet in Angles of Light selected a song to follow their reading. I chose Bermudian songwriter and musician Heather Nova performing her song The Good Ship Moon.Heather is one of the most talented female singer/songwriters/ musicians I know of. Her songs are full of images which flow cinematically. I can always hear the rhythms of the ocean in her work. Her CD’s have often gotten me through a long New England winter.

“Angles of Light: Readings of Caribbean Poetry was broadcasted from Chapel FM Arts Centre in Leeds, England during their Writing on the Air Festival which took place from March 21st to March 23rd, 2019.”

For more information on Angles of Light, visit the website.

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