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FEATURED POET

THIS IS MY MEDITATION*
Wilson Harris

O God
This is my meditation now, before I pray.
I think of Mozart,
in the heart of his civilization,
deserted, not even accorded the dignity
of decent burial.
I think of Christ crucified
Dying in agony, crying aloud to his God –
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?
I think of the others,
the others who are also the sons of God,
contemptuous of their divinity,
living and dying today in the slums.
I think of the strange and moving spectacle of man
overcome
by the inanimate earth that covers him
or the deep waters in which he drowns
or the bullet that comes unerringly
travelling through eternity to its ultimate destination.
The voices of the living pray to God.
The voices of the dead
treasured in the beautiful books in the libraries
pray to God.
Men suffer and pray to God
and thereby acquire stature
like Jesus Christ and like Mozart.
They wait for the ultimate mockery
or the ultimate justification,
in the meantime piling up new and unlearned accents of
tragedy
upon their human story, while they wait on God.


*Title of poem unknown


SOURCE:
Stabroek News, Guyana, February 2018.
Poem first published in the literary journal,
Kyk-over-Al,
British Guiana, 1947.

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Poetry Corner

ARCHIVES
FEATURED POETS

BRAZIL

CARIBBEAN
GUYANA

UNITED STATES
GUYANA-BORN
NOVELIST & POET
1921-2018
WILSON HARRIS -
novelist, essayist, and
poet - was born in New
Amsterdam, British
Guiana (now Guyana),
of mixed Amerindian,
African, and English
ancestry.

He attended Queen's
College in the capital,
Georgetown. Upon
graduation, he studied
land surveying and
geomorphology. In
1942, he began working
as a government
surveyor, later leading
expeditions into the
interior rainforest and
savanna regions to chart
Guyana's great rivers.

The haunting
landscapes and
Amerindian cultures
found expression in his
poetry, published in the
Kyk-over-Al literary
magazine, Georgetown.

His poetry collections
include:
~ Fetish (1951);
~ The Well and the
Land
(1952); and
~ Eternity to Season
(1954).

In order to pursue his
career as a writer, Harris
migrated to London,
England, in 1959. From
then on, he focused on
his fiction writing. In
1960, he published his
first novel,
Palace of the
Peacock
. Over the
years, twenty five more
novels followed.

LEARN MORE

The poetry of Wilson Harris is intermingled with
philosophy. As he writes his verse he is also creating a
flux of thought in which he is probing ultimate matters
and asking questions of life.
A.J. SEYMOUR (1914-1989), GUYANESE POET & MEMORIST &
FOUNDING EDITOR OF LITERARY JOURNAL KYK-OVER-AL, FROM HIS
INTRODUCTION TO
ETERNITY TO SEASON, POETRY COLLECTION BY
WILSON HARRIS (1954).
SOURCE:
THE MUSE

The rainforest made an enormous impact on me. I
learned that one should not attempt to—indeed one
cannot—colonize the unconscious. C.G. Jung speaks of
the collective unconscious and its application to the
human psyche. I prefer the term “universal
unconscious.”
WILSON HARRIS FROM HIS INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES H ROWELL,
EDITOR & WRITER, MAY 1992.
SOURCE:
THE MUSE

His early poetry grappled with classical Greek myths
distilled in imagery drawn from a Caribbean landscape.
The tone of high rhetoric sought to find a coalition
between a New World setting as it collided with a
classically trained imagination.
FRED D'AGUIAR, BRITISH-GUYANESE POET, PLAYWRIGHT &
NOVELIST, FROM HIS INTERVIEW WITH WILSON HARRIS, JANUARY
2003.
SOURCE:
BOMB MAGAZINE

WILSON
HARRIS

AWARDS
RECEIVED

Guyana Prize
for Literature
(1987)

Premio Mondello
Five Continents
(1992)

Guyana Prize
for Literature
Special Award
(2002)

Knights Bachelor
Queen's Birthday
Honors
(2010)

Anisfield-Wolf
Book Award
Lifetime
Achievement
(2014)
Wilson Harris - Guyana-born novelist and poet