Niggers Leap, New England

Niggers Leap, New England
5/5 - (5 votes)

Niggers Leap, New England

By Judith Wright

The eastward spurs tip backward from the sun.
Nights runs an obscure tide round cape and bay
and beats with boats of cloud up from the sea
against this sheer and limelit granite head.
Swallow the spine of range; be dark. O lonely air.
Make a cold quilt across the bone and skull
that screamed falling in flesh from the lipped cliff
and then were silent, waiting for the flies.

Here is the symbol, and climbing dark
a time for synthesis. Night buoys no warning
over the rocks that wait our keels; no bells
sound for the mariners. Now must we measure
our days by nights, our tropics by their poles,
love by its end and all our speech by silence.
See in the gulfs, how small the light of home.

Did we not know their blood channelled our rivers,
and the black dust our crops ate was their dust?
O all men are one man at last. We should have known
the night that tidied up the cliffs and hid them
had the same question on its tongue for us.
And there they lie that were ourselves writ strange.

Never from earth again the coolamon
or thin black children dancing like the shadows
of saplings in the wind. Night lips the harsh
scarp of the tableland and cools its granite.
Night floods us suddenly as history
that has sunk many islands in its good time.

Read all poems by Judith Wright

Copyright © by owner. Provided for educational purposes only.

Subscribe !NS¡GHT to never miss out on our events, contests and best reads! Or get a couple of really cool reads on your phone every day, click here to join our InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Submit to us your writings here.

Niggers Leap, New England


  1. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the blog post, but it is important to use respectful language and avoid any offensive terms. Let’s focus on discussing the content in a neutral and inclusive manner.
    Have A Great Day Ahead – Melissa

    1. The poem is by Australian activist poet, Judith Wright, who was a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. The website only shares the voices of poets, from past and present, with the world.

      You too have a great day!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: