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Gerard Sekoto, In Memorium: 1913 - 1993 Parts One and Two

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Below is the poem entitled Gerard Sekoto, In Memorium: 1913 - 1993 Parts One and Two which was written by poet T Wignesan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Gerard Sekoto, In Memorium: 1913 - 1993 Parts One and Two


                I

Would that anger subside
                 anger fed on pride

pride of I against You
who is right: I not YOU
                        meum et tuum

Some words hastily released on the verge of angry pride
Tear from us a part of our flesh a part of our cells
Leaving us lesser men forever pitted against the I in You
                      forever wanting to be right
I above You

You may not - yes, now I know you didn't - have meant it
Your words were stony arrows sunk in the mud of my hurt
         splitting even before they found the unintended target

There may yet have lingered then a little bit of the malign in you
That ultimate grace-saver in your embattled loneliness
                                    I didn't stop to think
I had to show you I was hurt
I didn't realise your hurt was legendary
    already formed and contorted in the aeons of darkness
each in our indelible separateness

Your age your despair your self-abandonment
     in the gorge of medicines
         in the crises that felled you
careering through terrifying electric storms
    leaving you year after year worsted
wiping duster-strokes of your memory clean

                     I didn't stop to think

      
                         II

Your demise is the passing of an age
     is the passing of a people's pain
unrequited

In your veins you take with you a hundred years
   of hurts and slings
        of dismemberment and mindlessness
of lost chances anguish and despair

                                                   though
driven into your lonesome corner
upright against the inroads of a Rhodes
or the pitted power of Buthelesis

finding in the milling Seine
 in the plucky rhythms of an ebony-and-ivory keyboard
   in the hidden skeins of your eyes
                                                     a pulse

beating with the heart of downtrodden generations
the infinitely pulsing look of defiance
                        that ultimate refusal of defeat


© T.Wignesan, March 29, 1993 [from the collection: back to background material, 1993] Pub. in Journal of Comparative Poietics, Vol. II (1993), Paris & Poietics: Disquisitions on the Art of Creation. Allahabad: Cyberwit.net, 2008.

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