THE BLACK HERALDS

A protest for the killing of George Floyd

There are blows in life, so hard . . . I don’t know! Blows like the hate
of God; as if before them, the undertow of everything suffered is embedded in the soul . . .I don’t know!

They are few; but they exist . . . They open dark furrows in the fiercest face and on the strongest back. Perhaps they are the foals of barbaric
Attilas; or the black heralds sent to us by Death.

They are the deep falls of the Christs of the soul, of some adorable faith,
blasphemed by Destiny. Those bloody blows are the crackling of
some bread that burns at the oven door.

And the man . . . the poor, the poor man! He turns his eyes, as when a
slap on the shoulder summons us; he turns his crazed eyes, and
all that he has lived wells up, like a pool of guilt in his gaze.

There are blows in life, so hard . . . I don’t know!


CÉSAR VALLEJO, Perú (1892 – 1938)
Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan
From: The Black Heralds

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Poetry
Myesha Jenkins – Tribute

Botsotso would like to pay homage to Myesha Jenkins, the poet and promoter of poetry who died on Saturday, 05 September 2020. Myesha was a founder member of Feelah Sistah, the all-woman poetry group that in its time made such an impact. Thereafter, she was indefatigable in organising and strengthening poetry platforms on radio and for live performance/readings. Myesha’s work was included in two Botsotso productions – the anthology Isis X and the recording Roots and Branches. Her spirit as a politically conscious, jazz-loving artist lives on and is well expressed in her seminal poem Autobiography which was included in both these projects.

Click here to read Autobiography, a poem by Myesha Jenkins.

A Call for Submissions: Johannesburg in Poetry