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»the end of poetry«

by Moemise Motsepe, March 10, 2008

(In memory of Dr Kgomotso Masebelanga, Tso)

I fear for the day when darkness comes
when the hour of night delivers
and poetry dies
when the word like a carcass
lies sprawled on the barren wilderness
when silence becomes
and a new god rises
when night authors a new tyranny

I fear for the day when darkness comes
and wonder if language will
concede to the stampede of time
like the dinosaur and the dynasties before it
when poets lose their tongues
and nothing is left to write about
when the word loses potency
to the shame of resemblance
to the crime of sameness
and all there is has been said
so that nothing new can stand with pride
before the mirror of written beauty
because some pen some hand somewhere
came before to assert its claim
to take a virginity not only of thought
but of expression
and the right to write the thought
to give life to that impetus
that impulse which afflicts all sense when beauty arrives
demanding the right to be
and to be given a pedestal all of its own

I fear for the day when darkness comes
when night arrives and in its wake
poetry goes to sleep
would humankind not lose the gift to invent
would form and reason not perish
and so too the will to live
for what life is there without the word

under this new god of darkness
when poetry
the voice of the soul lies buried
will those who once were poets be stoned
lynched for having bowed to the will of the night
will those who once were poets
be taunted like the idiots of yesteryear
or will they be calved into rock as idols of an era gone
raised into monuments to keep alive a legacy
a flame burning in defiance of the dark
like an anthem to memory

If in the beginning was the word
what creature awaits its afterlife
what art will inherit this habitat
when poetry comes to its end
and darkness becomes

Written: February 2006
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Published by writerslounge.net on March 10, 2008 under courtesy of the author.


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