George Elliott Clarke
You took the sea-green road
and made it incarnadine:
A whole continent became as painful
As an occupied crucifix.
Your skull-faced disciples,
as wrathful as weather,
wallowed in wet blood
and dust of dry blood;
obsequious to Violence,
they served their brown hosts
the milk of gall and sea-salt of tears.
(War goes wild at whiff of blood.)
Were you God-fearing seafarers,
(the basic tenants of your faith),
oh dove of Christ,
who emerged, clad in fire,
from the shuddering sea? (“À Cristophe Colombe ”)
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Poet, playwright, novelist and literary critic George Elliott Clarke won the Governor General's Award for Poetry for Execution Poems (Gaspereau Press, 2001). His most recent book is Red (Gaspereau Press, 2011). He is currently the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto.
This is George Elliott Clarke’s second above/ground press title, after Provencal Songs [II] (1997).
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