What We Are and What We Did

In his 2008 essay, Going Home (Anansi), in reference to our changing relationship to land, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet and essayist Tim Lilburn writes:

What we are: detached long ago, while still in Europe, from that part of the Western intellectual tradition that would have taught us the suitability of living undivided from one’s earth,” we cannot value what we most need, indeed cannot name it. What we did: we met the new land as conquerors and subjugated it. We moved too quickly over the ground, omnivorous, self-uprooting on principle, marked by the inevitably anarchic character of capitalism… Finally we just filled it with our will, so that the land came to look tired in its heart: almost empty but crammed with human intention, sick with a sameness that came from us.

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