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(1942 / London)

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Free Mandela [ Nelson Mandela ]

I saw Mandela in the Strand
as near to me as you now stand,
in a Royal Visitor's car
with motorbikes on every hand
and agents everywhere.

I met Mandela for he smiled.
Welcome, Mandela! I went wild -
Great to see you! Very good!
as round me the policemen stood
and no one interfered.

The traffic was held up, perhaps.
It was a great security lapse.
The other Nelson just in view
I made friends with Mandela through
the window of the car.

There's a world leader: here am I.
We both can smile, we both can cry,
and then the traffic moved again
and I went on, my head held high
for I had met Mandela.

And as at last I moved along
I thought of Hamish Henderson
singing Free Mandela Free
Mandela as his opening song
at every revelry.

He still sings free Mandela though
the man is high up who was low
and I'll tell Hamish Henderson
and everybody else I know
I met Mandela.

Submitted: Thursday, December 05, 2013
Edited: Friday, December 06, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

in London 1996 Published in Looking for Scotland

Comments about this poem (Basil's Land [Basil Bunting] by Sally Evans )

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  • marvin brato (12/27/2013 8:56:00 PM)

    Great trubte to a great freedom fighter....from a great poet!

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