Niether family nor friends Poem by Antjie Krog

Niether family nor friends

Rating: 4.2

tonight everything speaks through the dead
towards me
your brittle bundle of bones
my longestloved beloved
lies lonely and longingly cradled somewhere lost
and lean
I am overwhelmingly awake tonight
of me so little has become
you are all I had in this world
beloved deathling
alone and cold it is behind my ribs
Africa had me giving up all
it is so dark
it is so bleak
soft beloved taunter
of me so little has become
I am down
to my last skin

Diana Van Den Berg 04 February 2017

All of your senses quiver with abundant life and feeling and you feel everything with every nerve ending of your body and heart and soul, yet as though you have only 1 nerve-ending - or perhaps I am projecting how I feel and how your poem makes me feel. That word, deathling that you coined, jars just as you want it to, but with beauty, shock, reality, gentleness (and understanding in both senses of the word) especially when coupled so exquisitely with beloved. The thirdlast line repeated from above hurts (though, of course it isn't true, but just how you felt at that time) and the last 2 lines shudder my soul. I think (I don't know because I am so focused on your poem that I am not thinking about that) that I hold my breath while I read your poetry - perhaps so that I don't miss anything. This quiet explosion of grief fills me.

4 1 Reply
Chinedu Dike 16 January 2017

An insightful piece of poetry elegantly brought forth from the heart with conviction. Thanks for sharing Antjie.

1 1 Reply
Paul Brookes 16 January 2017

Beautiful and stylish poem well written and full of bittersweet lines 10++++

0 2 Reply
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