Poetry is an art form that can create a whole new world. Sometimes, it can emphasize everything that’s right in front of us. It only does so with words and style that evoke awareness and imagination, and at the same time make you experience a wide range of emotions.
Today’s poem is Dis Poem by Mutabaruka.
Mutabaruka (Allan Hope) is a Jamaican poet, musician, actor, educator, and talk-show host. His works are heavily influenced by the Black Conscious movement and feature themes including Black liberation, social oppression, discrimination and politics among others.
Dis Poem is a piece of work that embodies the various contradictions that exist in Africa and in the diaspora. It says nothing new but every time you read it, you get to experience a new emotion or feeling.
It captures the different realities that Black people across the world: from the middle passage, colonialism and heroes of African liberalisation, apartheid and other struggles that Black people went through. It also implies the different roles western agencies played in the process. More than that, it strives to make people aware and even uncomfortable through its words and meaning.
It also calls to mind the genius of Mutabaruka in penning the lines that remain fresh, years after it was written (1986).
As one of its lines says, ‘Dis poem shall say nothin’ new,’
Here’s Mutabaruka reading Dis Poem