Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

HUSBANDS OF MY DEAR COUNTRY

Enlarge poem

Let me have a polite conversation with my country
Let me write a poem to benefit my country
even if I’m not able to write a poem for my country like the wise poets write
even if I’m not the legal husband of my country or a leader
let be still water the dry land with planted sweat
let me slip in by the fence as a lover

By the front by the top by the upper upper door
they closed the gate but the gate never fits
it never fitted you probably it never properly
fit the bowl
[and the opening doesn’t open and doesn’t let anyone in
through the place where things don’t fit anyway an opening
either way either way…]

I don’t want to ask you to marry … Instead let me write you a poem
Let me fit a poem … to benefit my country
My writing of poetry will never stop … my writing of poetry will never cease
collecting the hill of words

The poetry of the people … is the melody of the people
until I grow vines I will … fit you with my poetry
until I twist lines here I will … build a rhyming house here for you

Because the lid doesn’t fit and the leaders don’t fit
and they always leave the door open
and they always leave the lit od the pot open
so people can scoop things out and scoop things out and scoop things out…

transl. by Eric Ellingsen, Jorga Mesfin and Uljana Wolf

Mihret Kebede

Featured Poem:

THE PLANNER

Enlarge poem

Why do we even make plans?
Being human is like being the plan
of another planner / planet
so that in some way you always
a plant in some one else’s plan

and so until the planner decides to
change the plan
or unless the planner decides to
dismiss the plan

you are beautifully sitting there,
plain plan man.

Like the flow of the river, determined
by the shape of the land in any situation. But
how to flow
is a very different question.

You can either carefully step on the rocks
or you can simply decide to flow under
the rocks and be forgotten forever.

2 rocks, still out there –
to shape your flow and course

mihret kebede_badilisha

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (3)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (2)
  • Inspiration (2)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

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Biography

Mihret Kebede was born in Dessie, Ethiopia and graduated from AAU School of Fine Arts and Design in painting with distinction, 2007. She then took a one-year photography course with Desta for Africa (DFA). She received a certificate award of recognition as the best practicing female artist in 2013 from Ministry of culture and tourism, Ethiopia.

Mihret is the founding director of Netsa Art Village, Artists collective, manager of Ethio Color band and founder and manager of the popular Tobiya Poetic Jazz monthly event.

Mihret Kebede

mihret kebede_badilisha
mihret kebede_badilisha

Biography

Mihret Kebede was born in Dessie, Ethiopia and graduated from AAU School of Fine Arts and Design in painting with distinction, 2007. She then took a one-year photography course with Desta for Africa (DFA). She received a certificate award of recognition as the best practicing female artist in 2013 from Ministry of culture and tourism, Ethiopia.

Mihret is the founding director of Netsa Art Village, Artists collective, manager of Ethio Color band and founder and manager of the popular Tobiya Poetic Jazz monthly event.

HUSBANDS OF MY DEAR COUNTRY

Enlarge poem

Let me have a polite conversation with my country
Let me write a poem to benefit my country
even if I’m not able to write a poem for my country like the wise poets write
even if I’m not the legal husband of my country or a leader
let be still water the dry land with planted sweat
let me slip in by the fence as a lover

By the front by the top by the upper upper door
they closed the gate but the gate never fits
it never fitted you probably it never properly
fit the bowl
[and the opening doesn’t open and doesn’t let anyone in
through the place where things don’t fit anyway an opening
either way either way…]

I don’t want to ask you to marry … Instead let me write you a poem
Let me fit a poem … to benefit my country
My writing of poetry will never stop … my writing of poetry will never cease
collecting the hill of words

The poetry of the people … is the melody of the people
until I grow vines I will … fit you with my poetry
until I twist lines here I will … build a rhyming house here for you

Because the lid doesn’t fit and the leaders don’t fit
and they always leave the door open
and they always leave the lit od the pot open
so people can scoop things out and scoop things out and scoop things out…

transl. by Eric Ellingsen, Jorga Mesfin and Uljana Wolf

Featured Poem:

THE PLANNER

Enlarge poem

Why do we even make plans?
Being human is like being the plan
of another planner / planet
so that in some way you always
a plant in some one else’s plan

and so until the planner decides to
change the plan
or unless the planner decides to
dismiss the plan

you are beautifully sitting there,
plain plan man.

Like the flow of the river, determined
by the shape of the land in any situation. But
how to flow
is a very different question.

You can either carefully step on the rocks
or you can simply decide to flow under
the rocks and be forgotten forever.

2 rocks, still out there –
to shape your flow and course

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (3)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (2)
  • Inspiration (2)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

HUSBANDS OF MY DEAR COUNTRY

Enlarge poem

Let me have a polite conversation with my country
Let me write a poem to benefit my country
even if I’m not able to write a poem for my country like the wise poets write
even if I’m not the legal husband of my country or a leader
let be still water the dry land with planted sweat
let me slip in by the fence as a lover

By the front by the top by the upper upper door
they closed the gate but the gate never fits
it never fitted you probably it never properly
fit the bowl
[and the opening doesn’t open and doesn’t let anyone in
through the place where things don’t fit anyway an opening
either way either way…]

I don’t want to ask you to marry … Instead let me write you a poem
Let me fit a poem … to benefit my country
My writing of poetry will never stop … my writing of poetry will never cease
collecting the hill of words

The poetry of the people … is the melody of the people
until I grow vines I will … fit you with my poetry
until I twist lines here I will … build a rhyming house here for you

Because the lid doesn’t fit and the leaders don’t fit
and they always leave the door open
and they always leave the lit od the pot open
so people can scoop things out and scoop things out and scoop things out…

transl. by Eric Ellingsen, Jorga Mesfin and Uljana Wolf

Comments

Your email address will not be published.