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ENOCH JOHN

Rookie (30/07/1958 / TRINIDAD and TOBAGO)

Song For A St Lucian Bard


[For Derek Walcott]

Far from the Aegean deep, in our Caribbean Elysium shores,
In a fresh cadence, chanting a new mantra,
After all these years of our sad Egyptian labours,
There were twinkling stars, and I saw in the illumination of their light,
The Estate of a new Caribbean ethos enlightened,
Elevated with dignity like a Walcottian metaphor,
We willingly salute our own Fancy's child.
Skilled Wordsmith from Castries, with sceptred pen,
And crowned with his mitred locks, sits enthroned,
Like a West Indian High Priest of Poesy,
Whom Philomel did endow with melodious song
Whom Calliope did endow with epic song,
And Sea Nymphs, in warm St Lucian Harbours as Harbingers,
Upon the wings of a Caribbean wave came riding exultantly,
Choreographing a millioned voices like a great Quire,
Chorusing a song like the sweet Song from Avon,
Chorusing a song like the giddy Song of Circe, chanting;
Hail to thee! Son of the islands of the blue Caribbean Sea!
For out of a red St Lucian mud a shabine emerges,
And while the three hags whom mythopoesis made infamous,
Upon his fate pondered with labourous intent,
Between the Towers of Ilium clothed in the ivy of its myths
His charioted self thunders,

The enactment in a bleak, grey Metropole of a Prince's Coronation-
Armed with his ecriture, into a Caribbean scape a Poet is born,
Far from a sylvan scene of an enchanted forest,
In an autumnal world of decay. His elephantine reach,
And his ditties of the islands sang by all, known by all, a song
That needs no chorus for it becomes its own chorus,
And to Homer's Sapient throng his name did Calliope add.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Edited: Tuesday, April 08, 2008

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