The Child Is Not Dead

Editor notes

The child who was shot dead by soldiers at Nyanga
Nelson Mandela read this poem in the original Afrikaans, during his address at the opening of the first democratic parliament on May 24, 1994.

The child is not dead by Ingrid Jonker

The child is not dead

The child lifts his fists against his mother
Who shouts Afrika ! shouts the breath
Of freedom and the veld
In the locations of the cordoned heartThe child lifts his fists against his father
in the march of the generations
who shouts Afrika ! shout the breath
of righteousness and blood
in the streets of his embattled prideThe child is not dead not at Langa nor at Nyanga
not at Orlando nor at Sharpeville
nor at the police station at Philippi
where he lies with a bullet through his brain

The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers
on guard with rifles Saracens and batons
the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings
the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
the child grown to a man treks through all Africa

the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world
Without a pass

Editor notes

The child who was shot dead by soldiers at Nyanga
Nelson Mandela read this poem in the original Afrikaans, during his address at the opening of the first democratic parliament on May 24, 1994.

http://allpoetry.com/poem/8593629-The_child_is_not_dead-by-Ingrid_Jonker

Ingrid Jonker (19 September 1933 – 19 July 1965) was a South African poet. Although she wrote in Afrikaans, her poems have been widely translated into other languages. Ingrid Jonker has reached iconic status in South Africa and is often called the South African Sylvia Plath, owing to the intensity of her work and the tragic course of her turbulent life. Her work has also been compared to that of Anne Sexton. During the night of 19 July 1965, Jonker went to the beach at Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town where she walked into the sea and committed suicide by drowning.

Advertisements

I'm interested in hearing people's ideas about metaphors and to post other people's metaphors as well as my own!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s