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Where I Become You

by Antjie Krog / 26.07.2013

Antjie Krog grew up on a farm in the Kroonstad District of the Free State Province in South Africa. She has read from her work at various international literary festivals, been a keynote speaker at a variety of conferences and lectured extensively on aspects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in England, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. Her poetry is strongly autobiographical, depicting the progressive stages of her private experience within the larger context of public life in South Africa. It is also characterised by a constant reflection on the writer’s aesthetic, political and ethical responsibilities.

Where I become You

Star-stung blind and dying in gravitation
You come
Hard stained and upwards
You come
Your crystal breath at the mouth-close sound of birds
Star-stung blind
Stars dying
Stars breathtakingly closest galactic site
I’m one, I must become
I’m fastened
with wrists that can pile up stars
The true you
The yes you
The grass still rustles from your ankles
Just now, each time I look up
Turning away
Astral bird-song wrapped in night
Let the word come right through you
Let more come than I
More than the undermining mind
The badgering mind
The endlessly eyeing mind
Let us become
Nakedly unmoved
That which we never could have become
Autumn the singularity from your sleep before dawn
All signals roam through your tongue and we hold each other’s blood in trust
My lived one
My faith song enraptured
Your non-negotiable breath makes of us separate ones in the course of time
Oh…my embodied love lingering in gravity

*For more on Antjie Krog and other Pan-African poets please visit Badilisha Poetry website, produced by the Africa Centre.

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