Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

A Sonnet for Haiti

January 13th, 2010 · No Comments

William Wordworth’s “To Toussaint L’ouverture” works beautifully today as a meditation on loss and rebirth:

TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy of men!
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon’s earless den; –
O miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;
There’s not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.

L’ouverture’s incredible life is chronicled here. We particularly recommend the brief memoir he wrote while imprisoned in France.


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