This furious and incandescent book subscribes to Irving Layton's adage that "Good poems should rage like a fire, burning all things." Blue is black, profane, surly, damning - and unrelenting in its brilliance. Clarke writes: "Like Layton, Ovid, Pushkin, Derek Walcott, I craved to draft lyrics that would pour out like pentecostal fire - pell mell, scorching, bright, loud: a poetics of arson." He divides his work into five parts (Black Eclogues; Red Satires; Gold Sapphics; Blue Elegies; and Violet Blues) that skillfully expand and dissect his rage until it becomes a violet bruise of love and mourning. From the opening "Black" section, which blisters Clarke's roots as "Her Majesty's Nasty, Nofaskoshan (Nova Scotian) Negro," to the sensually explicit and shocking satirics of the Red section; from the fiery and fierce personal tenderness of the Gold Sapphics to the uncompromising honesty and lament of the Blue Elegies, Clarke has written urgent and necessary poems - poems that burn the reader, illuminating us with their rage, truth and beauty.
Used availability for George Elliott Clarke's Blue
November 2011 : Canada Paperback
April 2001 : Canada Paperback