Winter 1981 • Vol. III No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1981 |

Three Poems: Map of the New World

I Dragons once, with webbed hands, serrated fins, circled this unknown sea. Their scales flake now like scurf, their skins aged with this wrinkled chart. Where they were feared to rise was usually written: IBI DRAGONES, there are dragons here, in dragonish letters of mediaeval Latin. They threshed the ocean's pastures with hooked flails, then, as new islands grew, dragons were gone, reduced to symbols puffed up by the Trades, a bellying escutcheon to knot the Indian's heart. But in the light that lanced through abbey stone pinning a shape to the map-maker's chart remained one dragon; drowned in history it rises in a mirror: with webless hand, no fins, it can draw dragons. II 'Only in a world where there are cranes and horses' wrote Robert Graves, 'can poetry survive.' Or adept goats on crags. Epic follows the plough, metre the ring of the anvil, order divines the figurations of storks, and awe, the arc of the stallion's neck. The flame has left the black wick of th

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Derek Walcott published numerous collections of poetry, as well as plays and essays. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and was a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner.

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I Dragons once, with webbed hands, serrated fins, circled this unknown sea. Their scales flake now like scurf, their skins aged with this wrinkled chart. Where they were feared to […]

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