Canticles II continues George Elliott Clarke's epic exploration of the Black/African intellectual presence in the Occident. In Canticles I (MMXVI) and (MMXVII), Clarke presents dramatic monologues in which historical personages and invented characters address 2000 years of imperialism and 500 years of slavery, some in support and others in opposition. In Canticles II, Clarke revises influential scriptures, principally Judeo-Christian, to offer alternative takes and tangents on their narratives and aphorisms, their histories and prophecies, reflecting an Afrocentric accent. Canticles II (MMXIX) shadows selected, Hebraic texts to draft a God who is particularly headstrong and peoples who tend to be wrong-headed. Any suspected blasphemy herein is, however, merely Poetry in disguise.
George Elliott Clarke
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 now presents us with his epic-in-progress, 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.
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