Cruzatte’s Fiddle

Poetry about Lewis and Clark by Griffith H. Williams.

During the many celebrations surrounding the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s expedition I found that most of the principal figures had a book devoted to them … all except Pierre Cruzatte, the Cajun fiddle playing boatman. This chapbook, published in 2003, addresses that oversight. Handset in 12 point Caslon Old Style type and printed on an antique Chandler & Price 10 x 15 letterpress in Kenmore, Washington, this chapbook contains 12 pages and is illustrated with three original linoleum block prints.

I saw Pierre Cruzatte rise
Before my two dreaming eyes.
The phantom laughed soft and long:
“A Cajun song never dies!”

As bow ran across the strings
I felt the tears that joy brings
When life struggles to prolong
The nameless song of dear things.

A mist welled within my eyes
And time rose from where it flies.
Time and space awoke the past
To fill the vast frontier skies!

With that fiddle off I went
Where Thomas Jefferson sent.
Twin captains, Lewis and Clark,
To find and mark our ascent.


Letterpress Edition: $20

(in-person only)