19 April 2008

in memory of aimé césaire

the story's told in brief an old man's dead
the poet's silent now whose word once made clear
all that we needed the damp antillean air
lost for a while its ancient weight of dread
and all of africa spoke through that head
so many logics he could make appear
in one return that banishment of fear
was the least part of what the morning said
to make the exile into native land
and change the margin into metropole
these are not easy tricks for any man
and yet these words could flow out of his hand
a complex charm to turn us all creole
there's nothing better since the world began

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