(For 2012 National (US) Poetry Month celebrations)
The South African poet Dennis Brutus (1924-2009) was an activist and avid campaigner for the exclusion of South Africa from international sports during the Apartheid-era.
Their guilt is not so very different from ours: —who has not joyed in the arbitrary exercise of power or grasped for himself what might have been another’s and who has not used superior force in the moment when he could, (and who of us has not been tempted to these things?)— so, in their guilt, the bare ferocity of teeth, chest-thumping challenge and defiance, the deafening clamor of their prayers to a deity made in the image of their prejudice which drowns the voice of conscience, is mirrored our predicament but on a social, massive, organized scale which magnifies enormously as the private dehabille of love becomes obscene in orgies. © Dennis Brutus
Hello! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog award because I love your blog. Read more about it on http://adventuresofpotlibaba.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/we-interrupt-this-blog-to-bring-you-some-liebster-love/. I hope you spread the love. 🙂
Very late in responding but thank you.
Powerful statement on the lack of conscience during the aparthied era.
Was not aware of this poet, so thanks for bringing them to my attention.
When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.
When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.
When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.
When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.
When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.
When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.
Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.
Beautiful poem and thought-provoking. I see that the entire meaning of the poem comes by considering the lines:
is not so very different from ours:
so in their guilt is mirrored our predicament
Another Brutus classic! Thanks for sharing.
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