A Far Cry From Africa
A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
'Waste no compassion on these separate dead!'
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?
Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilizations dawn
>From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.
Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?
Derek Walcott's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Far Cry From Africa by Derek Walcott )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley
- No se amor, Sergio Jaime
- Haiku: Colored Perceptions, Brian Johnston
- Poppy and Moppy, Brian P FitzGerald
- 'Nightmare of 'Annabel Lee', Shania K. Younce
- I heard him, Nassy Fesharaki
- WAIL ON, WOLE, Onwuasoanya FCC Jones
- Allegory 1, Tori Bachue
- An Interesting Breed They Are, Monk E. Biz
- Revolution Brings Salvation, Ruma Chaudhuri
- Unity (Haiku), Diwakar Pokhriyal