poem of the day: An African Elegy by Ben Okri

An African Elegy

Ben Okri

We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear the poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things.

And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless the things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.

That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.

And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here

And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.


6 thoughts on “poem of the day: An African Elegy by Ben Okri

  1. pennycoho says:

    His art, because that is what his words are, is poignant, meaningful and a gift for all of us lucky enough to read him. Thank you for sharing the poetry and the video. Excellent Post!

  2. Thank you for this. You are introducing me to so many writers I’d never heard of. I like the idea of life taking on the qualities of art – it’s a way to make human sense of what can sometimes be frightening and chaotic. Art shapes the experience into something we own, rather than something that just happens to us.

  3. yeltnuh says:

    Okri is one of my favourite writers. I’ve read nearly all of his novels and re-read many. The Famished Road is wonderful. I hope you’ll read it so I can natter about it. 😀

  4. yeltnuh says:

    Great. I’ll make tea.

  5. […] poem of the day: An African Elegy by Ben Okri (ephemeralstream.wordpress.com) […]

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