A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Monday, April 8, 2013

In Gikuyu, Literature and Oratory are the Same Word

A riot broke out today
when a man who spoke seven (!)
languages said
Perhaps it's that literature is European
He was drawing a distinction
between the written
and the oral
but the room would have none of it
And why should they?
They did not spend seven (!)
years in poverty
to let a man who spoke seven (!)
define their bread
who is a small man
and calm
smoothed us all over:
The literary
he said
towards the oral

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