Harold Hart Crane
O Carib Isle!
The tarantula rattling at the lily’s foot
Across the feet of the dead, laid in white sand
Near the coral beach—nor zigzag fiddle crabs
Side-stilting from the path (that shift, subvert
And anagrammatize your name)—No, nothing here
Below the palsy that one eucalyptus lifts
In wrinkled shadows—mourns.
And yet suppose
I count these nacreous frames of tropic death,
Brutal necklaces of shells around each grave
Squared off so carefully. Then
To the white sand I may speak a name, fertile
Albeit in a stranger tongue. Tree names, flower names
Deliberate, gainsay death’s brittle crypt. Meanwhile
The wind that knots itself in one great death—
Coils and withdraws. So syllables want breath.
But where is the Captain of this doubloon isle
Without a turnstile? Who but catchword crabs
Patrols the dry groins of the underbrush?
What man, or What
Is Commissioner of mildew throughout the ambushed senses?
His Carib mathematics web the eyes’ baked lenses!
Under the poinciana, of a noon or afternoon
Let fiery blossoms clot the light, render my ghost
Sieved upward, white and black along the air
Until it meets the blue’s comedian host.
Let not the pilgrim see himself again
For slow evisceration bound like those huge terrapin
Each daybreak on the wharf, their brine-caked eyes;
—Spiked, overturned; such thunder in their strain!
And clenched beaks coughing for the surge again!
Slagged of the hurricane—I, cast within its flow,
Congeal by afternoons here, satin and vacant.
You have given me the shell, Satan,—carbonic amulet
Sere of the sun exploded in the sea.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (O Carib Isle! by Harold Hart Crane )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(22 March 1941 -)
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
- I, Too, Langston Hughes
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- [®XLIX~]Watch Super Bowl 2015 (49) Live.., Renz Barns
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- Giving Entire Being, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Poetry Of This Night, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Poetry Is Scrapbooking, Dexsta Ray
- Avoid The Android, Erhard Hans Josef Lang
- So To Differentiate (False Humility), Dexsta Ray
- Sincere Effort, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
- LA PREMIÈRE FOIS, Rosie Bourget
- Drunk, Abby Sze
- So is Love, Jayatissa Liyanage
- A World Without Colour, Alex Lear