The ruminations of an artist on art & life...art quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April is National Poetry Month



April is National Poetry Month here in the USA--and I like to honor poems and the poets by featuring some here throughout the month...here is one by African American poet Nikki Giovanni....a wonderful poem I think is in keeping with the current theme on my blog ---my reflections on my recent trip to Ghana.

They Clapped

by Nikki Giovanni

they clapped when we landed
thinking africa was just an extension
of the black world
they smiled as we taxied home to be met
black to black face not understanding africans lack
color prejudice
they rushed to declare
cigarettes, money, allegiance to the mother land
not knowing despite having read fanon and davenport
hearing all of j.h. clarke’s lectures, supporting
nkrumah in ghana and nigeria in the war that there was once
a tribe called afro-americans that populated the whole
of africa
they stopped running when they learned the packages
on the women’s heads were heavy and that babies didn’t
cry and disease is uncomfortable and that villages are fun
only because you knew the feel of good leather on good
pavement
they cried when they saw mercedes benz were as common
in lagos as volkswagens are in berlin
they shook their heads when they understood there was no
difference between the french and the english and the americans
and the afro-americans or the tribe next door or the country
across the border
they were exasperated when they heard sly and the family stone
in francophone africa and they finally smiled when little boys
who spoke no western tongue said “james brown” with reverence
they brought out their cameras and bought out africa’s drums
when they finally realized that they are strangers all over
and love is only and always about the lover not the beloved
they marveled at the beauty of the people and the richness
of the land knowing they could never possess either

they clapped when they took off
for home despite the dead
dream they saw a free future

2 comments:

Shon Cary said...

If you’re just relying on commentary of other sites and products to keep yourself going, it’s time to step your game up. It’s always better to write compelling, thoughtful blog posts that will capture people’s attention. You’re not just reporting on the game other people are playing, you’re inventing the game as you go.

Conrad said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://fendisite.com