Michael Ondaatje (1943-) was born in Sri Lanka and lived there until he was eleven. After a time in England he settled in Canada at the age of 19 and became a citizen. He earned a BA from the University of Toronto and an MA from Queen’s, Kingston, Ontario. For a number of years he taught at York University and Glendon College. As an author he is best known for his prize-winning best-selling novel The English Patient (among four others). He has produced 13 volumes of poetry. Best known among these is The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970), which was adapted for the stage.
The dog scatters her body in sleep,
paws, finding no ground, whip at air,
the unseen eyeballs reel deep, within.
tacked to humility all day,
children ride her, stretch,
display the black purple lips,
pull hind legs to dance;
unaware that she
tore bulls apart, loosed
heads of partridges,
Further Reading: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid