By Frank M Chipasula
From the traditional Egyptian inventors of the affection lyric to modern poets, Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry gathers jointly either written and sung love poetry from Africa. This anthology is a piece of literary archaeology that lays naked a style of African poetry that has been overshadowed by means of political poetry. Frank Chipasula has assembled a traditionally and geographically entire wealth of African love poetry that spans greater than 3 thousand years. by way of accumulating a continent’s celebrations and explorations of the character of affection, he expands African literature into the elegant territory of the heart. Bending the Bow lines the improvement of African love poetry from antiquity to modernity whereas developing a cross-millennial discussion. The anonymously written love poems from Pharaonic Egypt that open the anthology either predate Biblical love poetry and exhibit the durability of written love poetry in Africa. the center part is dedicated to sung love poetry from all areas of the continent. those nice works function the root for contemporary poetry and testify to like poetry’s omnipresence in Africa. the ultimate part, showcasing forty-eight glossy African poets, celebrates the genre’s carrying on with power. between these represented are Muyaka bin Hajji and Shaaban Robert, significant Swahili poets; Gabriel Okara, the cutting edge even though underrated Nigerian poet; L?opold S?dar Senghor, the 1st president of Senegal and a founding father of the Negritude move in francophone African literature; Rashidah Ismaili from Benin; Flavien Ranaivo from Madagascar; and Gabeba Baderoon from South Africa. starting from the subtly suggestive to the brazenly erotic, this assortment highlights love’s patience in an international too usually riven by means of rivalry. Bending the Bow bears testimony to poetry’s position as conciliator whereas commencing up a brand new region of analysis for students and scholars.
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Extra resources for Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry
The sultan of love came to camp in my heart. I welcomed him and devised ecstatic nights with him, but he debated with me and ordered me to satisfy his every wild quirk. But he has an untender heart. I beg him. He is iron and gives me neither freedom nor the joy of union. What causes my pain? Is love a joke? Translated from the Arabic by Willis Barnstone Traditional Love Songs 47 Love Songs I When I make love with my lover, it is as if I were cleaning grain to feed myself: I eat and eat, a whole ﬁeld full, yet my heart is not satisﬁed.
Therefore am I a wife. Therefore have I great honor. 50 Traditional Love Songs You will tend his shrine when he is gone. With sacriﬁce and oblation you will recall his name year by year. He will live in your prayers, my child, And there will be no more death for him, but everlasting life springing from your loins. You are his shield and spear, his hope and redemption from the dead. Through you he will be reborn, as the saplings in the Spring. And I, I am the mother of his ﬁrst-born. Sleep, child of beauty and courage and fulﬁllment, sleep.
Be loved, as now I am loved. Child, child, child, love I have had from my man. But now, only now, have I the fullness of love. Now, only now, am I his wife and the mother of his ﬁrst-born. His soul is safe in your keeping, my child, and it was I, I, I, who have made you. Therefore am I loved. Therefore am I happy. Therefore am I a wife. Therefore have I great honor. 50 Traditional Love Songs You will tend his shrine when he is gone. With sacriﬁce and oblation you will recall his name year by year.