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World Poetry Day 2011

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It’s World Poetry Day today, the objective of which is tp promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.

Here are some South African poems.

1 – Gabeba Baderoon

The Dream in the Next Body

From the end of the bed, I pull
the sheets back into place.

An old man paints a large sun striped
by clouds of seven blues.
Across the yellow centre each
blue is precisely itself and yet,
at the point it meets another,
the eye cannot detect a change.
The air shifts, he says,
and the colours.

When you touched me in a dream,
your skin an hour ago did not end
where it joined mine. My body continued
the movement of yours. Something flowed
between us like birds in a flock.

In a solitude larger than our two bodies
the hardening light parted us again

But under the covering the impress
of our bodies is a single, warm hollow.

2 – Michael Cope

Green Mother

The green mother’s not the world, she is
the mother of wisdom, she always goes
beyond discernment, into the places where
the little things happen. There, among the
cells and microbes, lavish with green
and light, she happens, without
consulting anyone

3 – Mazisi Kunene

Was I Wrong?

Was I wrong when I thought
All shall be avenged?
Was I wrong when I thought
The rope of iron holding the neck of young bulls
Shall be avenged?
Was I wrong
When I thought the orphans of sulphur
Shall rise from the ocean?
Was I depraved when I thought there need not be love,
There need not be forgiveness, there need not be progress,
There need not be goodness on the earth,
There need not be towns of skeletons,
Sending messages of elephants to the moon?
Was I wrong to laugh asphyxiated ecstasy
When the sea rose like quicklime
When the ashes on ashes were blown by the wind
When the infant sword was left alone on the hill top?
Was I wrong to erect monuments of blood?
Was I wrong to avenge the pillage of Caesar?
Was I wrong? Was I wrong?
Was I wrong to ignite the earth
And dance above the stars
Watching Europe burn with its civilisation of fire,
Watching America disintegrate with its gods of steel,
Watching the persecutors of mankind turn into dust
Was I wrong? Was I wrong?

Sources:
1,2,3,4,5

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  1. Pingback: World Poetry Day 2011 | Media Alive | World Media Information - March 22, 2011

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