Monday, January 12, 2009

Why I write poetry

This isnt the first poem I read, nor is it the first one to touch me, but it is the first one that said what i wanted to say in poetry. I can't remember where I first read, heard or saw it being performed but I do remember that it touched my inner being.
Yesterday I saw it being performed again by Matubaruka and all the feelings came back all at once, the feelings of oppression, struggle, fight, freedom and so much more came back to me and I saw my purpose all over again. It also brought back so much emotion and memory, like the first time i saw the Colour Purple or the Roots miniseries on TV.

Made me feel ashamed and proud to be Black all at the same time. Ashamed because we seem to forget while claiming to remember, we seem to be conscious so much but ignorant of alot more. It is probably the longest poem that I have read and it still manages to capture me, line after line. And this poem is:

Dis Poem
by Mutabaruka

dis poem
shall speak of the wretched sea
that washed ships to these shores
of mothers cryin for their young
swallowed up by the sead
is poem shall say nothin new
dis poem shall speak of time
time unlimited time undefined
dis poem shall call names
names like lumumba kenyatta nkrumah
hannibal akenaton malcolm garvey
haile selassie
dis poem is vexed about apartheid rascism fascism
the klu klux klan riots in brixton atlanta
jim jones
dis poem is revoltin against 1st world 2nd world
3rd world division man made decision
dis poem is like all the rest
dis poem will not be amongst great literary works
will not be recited by poetry enthusiasts
will not be quoted by politicians nor men of religion
dis poem s knives bombs guns blood fire
blazin for freedom
yes dis poem is a drum
ashanti mau mau ibo yoruba nyahbingi warriors
uhuru uhuru
uhuru namibia
uhuru soweto
uhuru afrika
dis poem will not change things
dis poem need to be changed
dis poem is a rebirth of a peoplarizin awaking understandin
dis poem speak is speakin have spoken
dis poem shall continue even when poets have stopped writin
dis poem shall survive u me it shall linger in history
in your mindin time forever
dis poem is time only time will tell
dis poem is still not written
dis poem has no poet
dis poem is just a part of the story
his-story her-story our-story the story still untold
dis poem is now ringin talkin irritatin
makin u want to stop it
but dis poem will not stop dis poem is long cannot be short
dis poem cannot be tamed cannot be blamed
the story is still not told about dis poem
dis poem is old new
dis poem was copied from the bible your prayer book
playboy magazine the n.y. times readers digest
the c.i.a. files the k.g.b. files
dis poem is no secret
dis poem shall be called boring stupid senseless
dis poem is watchin u tryin to make sense from dis poem
dis poem is messin up your brains
makin u want to stop listenin to dis poem
but u shall not stop listenin to dis poem
u need to know what will be said next in dis poem
dis poem shall disappoint u
dis poem is to be continued in your mind in your mind
in your mind your mind

for more info on the Jamaican poet or to view him performing the poem
And this poem shall live on in me

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