Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Anvil and the Hammer - Kofi Awoonor

Caught between the anvil and the hammer
In the forging house of a new life,
Transforming the pangs that delivered me
Into the joy of new songs
The trapping of the past, tender and tenuous
Woven with fibre of sisal and
Washed in the blood of the goat in the fetish hut
Are laced with the flimsy glories of paved streets
The jargon of a new dialectic comes with the
Charisma of the perpetual search on the outlaw’s hill.

Sew the old days for us, our fathers,
That we can wear them under our new garment,
After we have washed ourselves in
The whirlpool of the many rivers’ estuary
We hear their songs and rumours everyday
Determined to ignore these we use snatches
From their tunes
Make ourselves new flags and anthems
While we lift high the banner of the land
And listen to the reverberation of our songs
In the splash and moan of the sea

Kofi Awoonor (1935 - 2013) Ghana

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