Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday Poem, "A Little Love"

A Little Love

Tell me you can manage without love
When you fling yourself into the barbed wire of life.
Tell me you can manage without love
When you stake out the stations of Calvary.
Tell me you can manage without love
When you bite on the green fruit of experience.
Tell me you can manage without love
When you celebrate eternal glories,
Or tell the beads of joy, of smiles.
Tell me that, tell me all that,
And I will tell you what your misery weighs.

A. Kanie (1952)

From the book, "French African Verse" with English translations by John Reed and Clive Wake
published by Heinemann, London, Ibadan, Nairobi

This is from a collection that a friend gave me when he sorted his books before moving to another condo. I particularly responded the two poems by A. Kanie which were included. I am not a grand fan of metaphors since they are so easy for me to step over and dodge around as I read and because I'm so plain spoken, but I found this piece and his other poem about racism clear enough to me to understand and deeply appreciate.

Anoma Kanie, Ivory Coast, published Les eaux du Comoe, Editions du Miroir, Paris, 1952.
 (I'm not able to include the proper accents on the e's in Comoe or Editions.)

4 comments:

  1. melissa,
    this poem builds so beautifully, and the payoff is strong enough to handle the cumulative power. very nice.

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  2. I loved the poem, the opening is exquisite. But what I loved the most is how it bastes you, it marinates you, it cooks you ever so slowly before letting you drop like a rollercoaster into the cauldron of literary excellence. That last line is the clincher:

    'Tell me that, tell me all that,
    And I will tell you what your misery weighs.'

    Make no mistake, that last phrase, 'what you misery weighs' is the make or break. You've set the reader up and now you can't let him or her down.

    Loved it. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  3. I've been thinking of this poem a bit this week - that last line especially. Isn't it wonderful how poetry 'sticks' to you.... Hope all is well, Melissa - and especially that you're feeling well - I missed your Tuesday Poem this week.

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