Black Poets: Kofi Anyidoho

Kofi Anyidoho

Kofi Anyidoho is a Ghanian poet born in 1947 at Wheta in the Volta Region. He hails from a family of Ewe oral poets and is presently a professor at the University of Ghana. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.

The News From Home

I have not come this far
only to sit by the roadside
and break into tears
I could have wept at home
without a journey of several thorns
 
I have not spread my wings
so wide only to be huddled into corners
at the mere mention of storms
 
To those who hear of military coups
and rumours of civil strife
and bushfires and bad harvests at home
and come to me looking for fears and tears
I must say I am tired
very tired
tired of all devotion to death and dying.
 
I too have heard of
all the bushfires
the sudden deaths
and fierce speeches
 
I have heard of
all the empty market stalls
the cooking pots all filled with memory and ash
 
And I am tired
tired of all these noises of
condolence from those who
love to look upon the anger of the hungry
nod their heard and stroll back home
worrying and forever worrying
about overweight and special diet for dogs and cats.
 
Like an orphan stranded
on dunghills of owners of earth
I shall keep my sorrows to myself
folding them with infinite care
corner upon corner
taking pains the foldings draw circles
around hidden spaces where still
our hopes grow roots even
in this hour of finite chaos
 
Those who sent their funeral clothes
to the washerman
awaiting the mortuary mento come
bearing our corpse in large display
Let them wait for the next and next
season only to see how well earthchildren
grow fruit and even flower
from rottenness of early morning dreams
 
Meanwhile
I am tired
tired of all crocodile condolence.

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