Simply Poetry


Nelson Mandela

Xhosa poetry


language is a Bantu language with click consonants (“Xhosa” begins with a click) and one of the official languages of South Africa written using a Latin alphabet. The most popular of Bantu languages, Xhosa too is a tonal language; that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said with a rising or falling or high or low intonation(for a more detailed explanation, refer table of consonant phonemes).

There are again two types in isixhosa-poetry:

  1. umbongo-mbaliso :Narrative poem where a story is told
  2. umbongo-nkcazo :Descriptive poem without a story but describing the situations.

Here is a Praise Poem to #Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela  1918-2013 by  Patricia Schonstein Pinnock written in Xhosa

Ingqanga ifile  –  The Bateleur is dead

Ingqanga ifile The Bateleur is dead

Yazalwa sekusaziwa ukuba iyakuphelela phi na
He was born with his destiny written for him

Nangona umzimba wayo wawuthozamile
Though his boyhood was humble

Yaba yingangamsha esebenzela ilizwe
He became a great statesman

Yayihamba njengekumkani kodwa inentobeko
He walked like a king yet was modest

Yakha yaligorha elixhobileyo
He was once an armed warrior 

Kodwa yazibeka phantsi izigalo
But he put down his weapons

Yaza yangumfuziselo woxolo
And become an icon of peace

Continue reading “Xhosa poetry”

Tribute to a Poets’ Musings

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or Pen, then you have something very special – #Nelson Mandela.

Among most of the beautiful forms of Writing is a special artform ‘Poetry’, with its rhythm, rhyme, meter, and most importantly the art of expressing the feelings & emotions. No wonder, this form has been accepted since ages in various parts of the world, whatever the language it is written in. But for everyone to enjoy and have a feel of it, English poetry is preferred and popular among other languages.

One such personality who has made his mark among the renowned English poets (not talking of the British here) of today is #Vijay Seshadri, on whom I would like to throw some light today.

vijay seshadri

He is a poet, essayist, and literary critic based from New York. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry -2014, Vijay Seshadri also won the James Laughlin Award for The Long Meadow (Graywolf Press, 2004) and the Wild Kingdom (1996). Many of his poems, essays, and reviews won him numerous rewards.

Most of his works in poetry have something in common. Do you want to know what it is? See for yourself:

Survivor (2004)

The Descent of Man (2010)

An excerpt from his recent collection “3 Sections (2014) which won him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

to see me weeping in my room
or boring the tall blonde to death.
Once I accused the innocent.
Once I bowed and prayed to the guilty.
I still wince at what I once said to the devastated widow.
And one October afternoon, under a locust tree
who blackened pods were falling and making
illuminating patterns on the pathway,
I was seized by joy.

See more

Hope you did notice that he embeds his poetry with stunningly true stories by laying out his very own life. He asks big questions and addresses big issues of time and consciousness, suffering and devotion–but for all their deep seriousness of purpose, his poems refuse to take themselves too seriously.


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