In Zanzibar, in 2008, George Elliott Clarke began to write his "Canticles," an epic poem treating the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Imperial and colonial conquest, and the resistance to all these evils. That is the subject of Canticles I (MMXVI) and (MMXVII). In Canticles II (MMXIX) and (MMXX), Clarke rewrites significant scriptures from an oral and "African" or "Africadian" perspective. Now, in Canticles III (MMXXII) and (MMXXIII), Clarke shifts focus—from world history and theology — to the specific history and bios associated with the creation of the African ("Africadian") Baptist Association of Nova Scotia. By so doing, he concludes the most remarkable epic ever essayed in Canadian letters — an amalgam of Pound and Walcott — but entirely and inimitably his own.
400 pages |
About the author
Acclaimed for his narrative lyric suites (Whylah Falls and Execution Poems), his lyric “colouring books” (Blue, Black, Red, and Gold), his selected poems (Blues and Bliss), his opera libretti and plays (Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path), George Elliott Clarke presents us with his now-completed epic, Canticles, a work that views History as a web of imperialism, enslavement, and insurrection. A native Africadian, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate ranges the atlas and ransacks the library to ink lines unflinching before Atrocity and unquiet before Oppression.