Friday, September 5, 2008


In celebration of one of east Africa’s greatest literary minds; yours truly the esatafricanpoet will run a series of poems or songs as he fondly referred to them from the great OKOT P’BITEK.
The best and most attractive aspect of a genuine P’BITEK classic is his raw simplicity and language so easy to understand that his ‘songs’ could be understood and enjoyed by virtually anyone who has love for poetry.
But simplicity is complexity in its own way and the simplest of poems are usually the most complex; any poetry lover will attest to this, yours truly included. a friend of mine tells me that ,‘the simplest and the most easily understood of concepts took the greatest effort to put together’
This piece is the first of the OKOT P’BITEK series. enjoy.

Song of lawino

We sang the faith of the messengers
Like parrots
I did not understand it all!
I thought about it
In my own head
But I could get nowhere,
And there was nobody to turn to
The padre and the nun are the same,
They only quarrel
They are angry with me
As if it was I
Who prevented them marrying.

To them the good children
Are those
Who ask no questions
Who accept everything
Like the tomb
Which does not reject
Even the dead leper!
Who accept everything
Like the rubbish pit,
Like the pit latrine
Which does not reject
Even dysentery
And those good children
Who ask no questions
Are liked
They are given oranges
And guavas and bananas
They take a ride
In the padres car
The nun pats them on their backs
And says my son you are good!

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