September 26, 2013

Farewell to Kofi Awoonor

I was just just reading this sad story,

Ghana mourns loss of celebrated poet Kofi Awoonor slain in Kenya mall attack

about Ghanain poet, Kofi Awoonor, one of the unfortunates murdered in the latest round of senseless butchery in Nairobi, Kenya. I find it somehow life-affirming that Ghanaian heads of state actually made time to greet his casket at the airport. Americans persist in the comic delusion that we are some kind of "advanced" society. In Ghana they actually pay attention when a poet dies....

Across A New Dawn (excerpt from one of Awoonor's last poems)
But who says our time is up
that the box maker and the digger
are in conference
or that the preachers have aired their robes
and the choir and the drummers
are in rehearsal?

No; where the worm eats
a grain grows.
the consultant deities
have measured the time
with long winded
arguments of eternity

And death, when he comes
to the door with his own
inimitable calling card
shall find a homestead
resurrected with laughter and dance
and the festival of the meat
of the young lamb and the red porridge
of the new corn

Brings to mind the African proverb, "When death finds you, let it find you alive."

Read the full poem here.