Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry by Frank M Chipasula

By Frank M Chipasula

From the traditional Egyptian inventors of the affection lyric to modern poets, Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry gathers jointly either written and sung love poetry from Africa.          This anthology is a piece of literary archaeology that lays naked a style of African poetry that has been overshadowed by way of political poetry. Frank Chipasula has assembled a traditionally and geographically finished wealth of African love poetry that spans greater than 3 thousand years. by way of accumulating a continent’s celebrations and explorations of the character of affection, he expands African literature into the elegant territory of the heart.            Bending the Bow strains the advance of African love poetry from antiquity to modernity whereas developing a cross-millennial discussion. The anonymously written love poems from Pharaonic Egypt that open the anthology either predate Biblical love poetry and show the sturdiness of written love poetry in Africa. the center part is dedicated to sung love poetry from all areas of the continent. those nice works function the basis for contemporary poetry and testify to like poetry’s omnipresence in Africa. the ultimate part, showcasing forty-eight glossy African poets, celebrates the genre’s carrying on with energy. between these represented are Muyaka bin Hajji and Shaaban Robert, significant Swahili poets; Gabriel Okara, the cutting edge although underrated Nigerian poet; L?opold S?dar Senghor, the 1st president of Senegal and a founding father of the Negritude circulation in francophone African literature; Rashidah Ismaili from Benin; Flavien Ranaivo from Madagascar; and Gabeba Baderoon from South Africa.              starting from the subtly suggestive to the brazenly erotic, this assortment highlights love’s persistence in a global too frequently riven via rivalry. Bending the Bow bears testimony to poetry’s function as conciliator whereas commencing up a brand new zone of research for students and scholars.   

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Example text

I am going to my lover—we shake. Even if it is raining—we shake— I am going to my lover—we shake. I am going to my lover—we shake. He is at Chesumei—we shake. Even when night comes—we shake— I am going to my lover—we shake. Even if he hits me—we shake— I am going at night—we shake. Even if there is a wild animal—we shake— I am going to my lover—we shake. A person not knowing a lover—we shake— Knows nothing at all—we shake. Translated from the Kipsigi by I. G. Peristiany Traditional Love Songs 53 Merina (Madagascar) Dialogues I Man: May I come in, Rasoa-the-well-spoken?

And your teeth—as if you had gotten them only yesterday! And your eyes—like those of a hornless cow! Namujezi, open your eyes, clear as water; Your teeth—just laugh, laugh out, So that we may see them all and marvel at them. We will let our game sleep Until the morning star appears. I will not leave the playground so long as Namujezi is there. Where she is, the moon becomes the sun, Night becomes bright day. We are favorites of glorious night, We are court servants of the moon. Where you, Star-Namujezi, shine, I will follow you, no matter where you go.

When I wait for her, I can eat nothing, When I expect her, I cannot sleep, Sleep and food matter not to me then. Her fingernails are white as if they were washed, Her fingers, as if she had just touched fat. She is as bright as the ombimbo-root, Ombimbo, dug up by the Bushmen, Ombimbo, grown in the sandy desert of Amambo, Picked up at the root of the omusati-tree. My girl is like a copper ring in looks, My girl is serious, she does not laugh for nothing, She does not laugh when we are with people, She laughs only when we are alone together.

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