Friday, February 08, 2008

Poetry Friday - Chinua Achebe

I didn't even know that the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe had written poetry until this week, but his novel Things Fall Apart is one of my favorites.

Here's Achebe's poem "A Mother in a Refugee Camp."

No Madonna and Child could touch
Her tenderness for a son
She would soon have to forget...
The air was heavy with odors of diarrhea,
Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs
And dried-up bottoms waddling in labour steps
Behind blown-empty bellies.

You can read the rest of it here.



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7 comments:

strawberry soda said...

Such a poignant and tragic and embarassingly humanizing of suffering. How do we allow this to happen, and how can we stop it?

Ruth said...

I wish I knew how we could stop it. But I think this poem is a good first step - if people could only see their enemies as humans, with children they love.

TadMack said...

Heartbreaking and terrible--- so sad and very powerful.

Cloudscome said...

Sweet Jesus! What a poem. What a tragedy that we live like this and watch that happen.

Karen E. said...

Heartbreaking.

Susan T. said...

Oh, that's such a sad poem. Heartbreaking.

Did you know that Things Fall Apart turns 50 this year? Isn't that amazing?

Ruth said...

Susan, no, I didn't know this was the anniversary year. Time to re-read the book, I guess! Thanks for visiting.