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No-Sugar Added Poetry

World Poetry Day, eh?
I think you meant
The English Language Poets Day, right?

You adulate the English language poet.
But where is the Xhosa poetess?
Can you name and celebrate her?
Where are the Amharic poets
Masters of the Wax and Gold style?
Who was Kebede Mikael?
Yohannes Admasu?
Who is Alemtsehay Wedajo?
Do you even know she exists?

Can you think of an Oromo language poet
Or a Tigrigna, a Swahili lyricist?
How about the Somali
Who breathes poetry like a fresh air?
Oh, no, he must do it in English
Like his fiery sister Warsan Shire
Or his Ethiopian neighbor Tsegaye Gebremedhin 
To wear your “laureate” hat
And not to be forgotten
Just as another pirate of the Horn, right?

We have to write in English, like this,
For you to acknowledge our existence…
Or we must publish in French
Or dominate the world like the Chinese   
For you to realize the river of poetry
that flows in our veins.

We were here ahead of you, waxing.
We are here behind you, fixing.
But we will be here, nonetheless.
You can’t erase us.

***

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3 thoughts on “No-Sugar Added Poetry

  1. did you write that Elijah?
    Or is it a guest post?
    There definitely is no sugar added there
    and it’s oozing of cynicism. but still i liked the power of it.
    The only poetic language I know is Urdu. and your colorful post doesn’t even mention Urdu, and no mention of Rumi?
    And therefore I want to add a powerful line questioning that very fact.
    But i will slowly and silently leave with only that line above.
    P.S. Just checking in here because I am not quite done with my to-do item and thereby don’t qualify to write that chapter and didn’t want to cheat with an email 😀
    Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday.

    1. Haha that was a fair criticism, mon amie. 😁

      And, yes, Elijah wrote it 😁 it was a kinda mad slam dunk (i.e., rant, plain speaking) – against the English cultural imperialism 😂 and in the process, the Afrocentric part of him forgot to mention Urdu and other beautiful, poetic, non-Western languages that are in the same marginalized boat.

      In my defense, however, I did want to mention Urdu, but then I decided to romanticize the African languages which don’t get as much good rap as Urdu in the international stage. ☺

      And, thanks for checking in here 😜 I totally understand. I myself am taken hostage by the bloody to-do items. 😁

      Have a Rumi-inspired, awesome week! ☺ (Not to mention Tagore. 😉)

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