Desmond Painter. Grafskrif vir ‘n tiran

Ek kom vanoggend toevallig op hierdie gedig van WH Auden af. Ek plaas dit nie hier om spesifiek ‘n toespeling te maak op die dood van Eugene Terre Blanche nie (hy was immers nooit werklik in ‘n magsposisie nie), maar omdat dit enige vorm van totalitêre, puriteinse politiek (en politici) so skitterend aan die kaak stel. Die digterlike woord kom hier te staan teenoor die lomp maar gevaarlike retoriek van die ‘tiran’ – mense soos Mugabe, Malema en, ja, ook Terre Blanche.

Epitaph on a tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

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