“Let us read, and let us dance;
these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

Monday, 21 February 2011

If I have to leave - D.E. Barrell

I made this: Avid Reader at 7:13 pm
Today, I have mostly been trying to remember poetry that I last read in 1998, for my O Levels

Thanks to facebook, I now know that the book we studied was Revival (which I am now scouring the internet for), and have managed to track down my personal favourite from the set, and one that I recited for a school production my final year in Zimbabwe. 

I still love it! 

If I have to leave - D.E. Barrell

If I have to leave,
...I shall take from Africa,
No assegais;
But arrows of laughter in the eyes;
From the Shona women
Sorting washing,
Stitching sheets with me
In a mutual murmer;
The flicker of black hands
Smoothing sheets
And my sons cradled in their shadow.

Laughter in the kitchen,
In the market, in the meeting place;
Shrewd glances over business
Appraising each other's skills.

Black hands helping with sickness;
And that one wet night
As I drove her through darkness:
The awful pain of her childbirth
In my womb.

If I have to leave,
I shall take from Africa this strength,
This strange bond of women.

* * * * *
School Days Over


Avid Reader on 21 February 2011 at 19:17 said...

though the pedant in me requires me to point out that I actually lived with the Ndebele, not the Shona...


Leeds Book Club Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare