And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

lørdag 28. april 2018

Sea-serenade - a poem by Syl Cheney-Coker

Ever since I handed in my PhD thesis in October last year, I have been spending my leisure time reading literature from parts of the world that have nothing to do with my PhD thesis topic, as a way to unwind and avoid getting trapped in a narrow field of vision.

In the present blogpost I present to you a poem by Syl Cheney-Coker (b.1945), a poet from Sierra Leone. This poem is from the collection The Graveyard also has Teeth, published in 1980 and included in Heinemann's African Writer Series together with the collection Concerto for an Exile (1973).


I am drawn to the sea at night
as it knots my grief in circular waves
bringing its death-perfumed breath
close to my lips!
on a rock I watch a black crab move nearer by
with eight wobbling legs
under the immense pain of its life
and seeing this crab I feel I am near to my shadows
I understand them smelling their putrid souls!

now facing them pained on this volatile night
I count the thorns sprouting from my heart
for that brother who fled from his mother
on the sphinx's wing!

but in the morning at the cemetery
there will be no flowers no woman
will come to dress his wounds with a kiss
I see already the flight of the innocents
and the blood running down the eyes of the spirits
thrown above the laughing cliffs

ah to depart this comatose life swallowing the fleas
to dodge the passover hand of God
to leave consecrated bread and fasting blood
mother to you that is given the tribulations of Job
indeed! indeed! indeed!
I ask what remains of this catalepsy

only the necrology only the necrology!

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