[tabs tab1=”Poem” tab2=”Poet Bio”]
[tab id=1]Whenever I spell your name,
You cast a spell on me.
You parch my mind with a fire I cannot quell,
You take me to a heavenly hell.
When I sing your name,
I can feel the flux
Of your ancestral drums and chants
Throbbing along my veins,
I watch the tremendous, protean, red and blue stretches
Of your elating landscapes and skies
Flooded by your fateful fights for freedoms.
When I hear your name,
I can measure the size of the pitfalls
You have had to stride over,
Gauge the depths of the insuperable silences
Which have had to be trespassed,
To achieve the full spelling of your name.
I know which irretrievable chasms
You have preferred to close upon,
Which unquenchable pains
You have chosen to dry up,
Hoping they will dissolve in the heat
Of you hungry hankering after happiness.
From the phantoms of the past,
I can fathom the freedom of the fatherland.
When I call your name,
I am fraught with your fabulous fellow-feelings for family and friends,
Your forceful forgiveness for foes
That set you apart head and heart.
You never forget,
Your frantic, feverish dreams.
You never forbear to bear your forebears’ fetters and fights,
From your foremost foreland of freedom.
Nor do you ever forego
To flout your afflictions
Through your fruitful, distrustful faith in God.
Whenever you call me by your name,
The pain is in my pen
And shapes to the letter
And to the spirit
For we are all fully aware
He cries best, he who cries last,
If he fertilizes the future
And forces it to bloom.
So even if you cannot liberate me
From the frightful flurries of my past,
Whenever you take the liberty
To set yourself free,
When the rocky, yet smoothly swelling sounds
Of your name
Fill up my ear,
I know you are and will remain
The Mother of the world,
[tab id=2]A former language teacher and university lecturer, Brigitte Poirson has published seven books in French and English, and has won many awards for her poetry. She is the curator and editor of Via Grapevine 1 and 2, poetry anthologies published in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (FR)[/tab]
this poem appears in our print quarterly number eight, Dear South Africa.
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