Ananta Madhavan


Algeria,1962, Just Prior To Independence - Poem by Ananta Madhavan

If the watcher of the skies,
Emboldened by the plea of wings,
Scars the frank destiny of strangers,
In our diverse tensions, who are we
To prevent their share of hope?

No mercy lingers on the leaves we burnt,
No misery survives, for we are done
To language whose otherness we know
In a 'bare bodkin'; if charged with such
As hope to hope, we shall not withstand.

Our means are empty, our blunt
Arms strike with insufficient love.
Even now our hate is as the late
Afternoon, drained of bright hope,
Weak with the weakness of the sick.

And yet my anger moves within me,
A spiral which I do not care to curb.
So shall the passionate have form
And the fierce sun parch the sands of hope.

- - -
March 1962

Topic(s) of this poem: conflict


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this, moved by reports of violence and riots in Algeria in
1962, before France and the parties involved came to a ceasefire and
the ending of colonial rule.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 27, 2015



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