Louis Esterhuizen. Mongane Wally Serote vereer met “Golden Wreath”

Volgens ‘n berig by The New Age het ‘n besonderse eer een van Suid-Afrika se vernaamste Engelstalige digters te beurt geval deurdat die organiseerders van die Struga Poësiefees in Macedonië besluit het om Wally Serote vir sy digkuns te vereer met vanjaar se Golden Wreath. Dit is slegs die tweede keer dat op dié besonderse manier hulde gebring word aan ‘n digter uit Afrika; vantevore is die Senegalse digter, Leopold Sedar Senghor, op soortgelyke manier vereer. Ander bekende digters wat eweneens dié verering te beurt geval het, is onder andere Pablo Neruda (1972), Ted Hughes (1994) en Seamus Heaney (2001).

Vanjaar se Struga Poësie-aande vind plaas van 23 tot 26 Augustus in Struga. Die oorhandiging sal tydens dié poësiefees, wat wêreldwyd as een van die belangrikstes gereken word, gedoen word. (Vantevore het ek ook oor dié besonderse fees geskryf. Gaan kyk hier indien jy dit gemis het.)

Serote, wat in die bekende Sophiatown gebore is, het deur sy skryfwerk en sosiale betrokkenheid aansien verwerf onder ‘n breë en waarderende gehoor. Sy debuutbundel, Yakhal’inkomo is in 1972 bekroon met die Ingrid Jonker-poësieprys van daardie jaar.

Op Poetry  International Web kan ‘n goeie oorsig oor Serote se digwerk gevind word. Ook is daar ‘n aantal vroeë gedigte wat geniet kan word … Vir jou leesplesier plaas ek egter ‘n gedig wat op Poetry Africa se webtuiste beskikbaar is.

***

History – a home address

i

i will ask my beloved-

where

where must we reside in the early hours

in the purr and roar and chime

of the break of time

when the horizons yawns and is golden and mauve

when the breeze simmers

when the spin of the earth sails the season into place

and when the blade of the wind and the breeze make us dream

we know our address

as the rain drizzle makes us stare the distances

 

Africa

here we are

we who people you

in the shades which from blue to black to ginger to honey

dance with the light of sun and the shades of the moon

and stars

or in the pitch dark of night

in all seasons

out in your vast space

under your clear and blue skies which hover and watch

inside time which we carried and waded through

generation after generation after generation

we emerged without fail

like the day like night like seasons like time

are tempered and were tempered

in the long long moments of struggle

six centuries sixty decades of being doormats

these six hundred years of Africa fighting

should and must and shall open doors

crack as they do and dropping rust as if scraps

they shall beam the moonlight and the starlight and the sunlight

as we offer us to share rewards of the struggle

and offer to be part of the human race

so all of us

black and white can be a gift of life

 

© Mongane Wally Serote (2009)

 

 

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