Death Of A Comrade

Martin Carter (1927 – 1997) was a Guyanese poet who fought for independence and socialism, and was jailed by the British government for ‘spreading dissension’. He was one of the first West Indian poets to be published outside of the West Indies when Poems of Resistance from British Guiana was published in London in 1954.

Death Of A Comrade

Death must not find us thinking that we die.

Too soon, too soon
our banner draped for you.
I would prefer
the banner in the wind
not bound so tightly in a scarlet fold –
not sodden sodden
with your people’s tears
but flashing on the pole
we bear aloft
down and beyond this dark dark lane of rags.

Dear Comrade
if it must be
you speak no more with me
nor smile no more with me
then let me take
a patience and a calm –
for even now the greener leaf explodes
sun brightens stone
and all the river burns.

Now from the mourning vanguard moving on
dear Comrade I salute you and I say
Death will not find us thinking that we die.

Martin Carter
Poems of Resistance, 1954.

aaamartincarter

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