Thobile Masondo

Rookie - 63 Points (19 February 1979 / Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)

Rat Atat Alang! - Poem by Thobile Masondo

Rat atat alang!
He speaks a language never heard
A tear slowly strides on his cheek
He seeks but cannot find
He chooses not to find but to seek nonetheless
He fears a find will take him deeper into the dark
He dreams a new tribe is born
A tribe that understands the echoes of rat atat alang
He howls and pulls his white thin hair
And bangs his head against the wall
Memories racing ruthlessly
Playing like a horror film
Invade his privacy against his will
He touches but cannot feel
He chooses not to feel, but touches nonetheless
He fears a feeling will awaken sleeping beasts
He dreams, he is King of Heartache
Heartache that can only be described in a language never spoken,
Needles and medicine don't do the trick
He rules his kingdom with passion and understanding
His subjects respect his madness
He needs but cannot get
He chooses not to get, but needs nonetheless
He fears his needs won't fill the void
A lunatic we call him
His tribesmen hail him King of heartache
As he calls out loud, 'rat atat alang! '.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The poem is about a madman or rather our perception of a madman. The poem suggests that in the mind of a madman, every action (behaviours that we normally perceive as insane) makes perfect sense. He lives in a distant world, a world we do not understand and therefore choose to call him mad. In this world, he is King and well respected for his ability to express his inner turmoil. This man experienced so much pain that there is no word in literature that can best describe the amount of pain he has endured, hence he creates another world that understands and respects him.

Comments about Rat Atat Alang! by Thobile Masondo

  • (8/8/2012 11:05:00 AM)


    A fine piece of writing from (I assume) Africa, full of life and local knowledege - full of magic - Great (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 8, 2012


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