Sankofa - Edith Faalong

I met people baba…
They talked of things so fine.
They talked of skyscrapers and fast cars
and I remembered you grandpa: I remembered our holy village
with the mud houses and thatch roofs we so treasured.
The mud houses and thatch roofs we built with our hands.
and the old broken bicycle in the corner that Uncle Thom was so proud of.

They talked with such excitement about the disco
and I remembered the nights we sat around the fire
not wanting to breath lest we miss a word of your awesome stories.
They talked about the women who had faces like their palms
and clothes like skin.
and I smiled in amusement because my mind galloped back to
the full moon nights
when men drummed and children clapped and
women stamped their feet and twirled around
in smooth rhythm to timeless music.
Full bosoms heaving, paying homage to music that transcends
generations and age.
I remembered grandma and her friends
laughing toothlessly and trying without success to join the dance.

And yet they talked on…
and it confused me.
Because I didn’t come here to wine and dine, but to shine.
I remember our debut with nostalgia.
Grandpa, remember how we set off?
With a dream in our hearts and a vision in our eyes.
With your blessing on our heads and your advise in our ears.
The taste of the millet porridge still on our tongues.
But here I find so many ills vying for authority to pull me down.
Yet my spirit laughs loud.
The millet porridge may taste faint on my tongue,
but I remember I came from strong stock.

12 comments:

Emmanuel Sigauke said...

Fantastic timing of theme! My college class in California is watching the movie Sankofa on September 19 to understand the "return to the source" concept. The class consists of African American students learning the connection between Africa and America, but most importantly learning about origins and finding out ways to affirm an identity that takes history into account. We might visit this poem as a reference, so many thanks to the poet and to One Ghana, One Voice. Any resources you may suggest?

Elena said...

What a beautiful poem. There is immense power behind these words, the power of the Ghanaian cultural heritage. Such powerful words, they made me shiver.

Albert Black Ali said...

perfect timing, this oem could not have come at a better time than when we the youth of today seem to have lost all value for teh positive moral adn traditional values of our ancestors. more grease to your elbows. Eff you are great!!!

Anonymous said...

this is so wonderful. i love how u are able to merge the images of the past and present. this is indeed a timeless piece

Anonymous said...

Aana N. N. owusu
I enjoyed your poem - the images - espercially its sound effect. you are really sent me to the roots.
keep it up!

Aana N. N. owusu said...

I enjoyed your poem - the images - espercially its sound effect. you are really sent me to the roots.
keep it up!

Sulemana Iddisah said...

Bravo! An incredibly enthralling piece from a promising poet. Call it contrast, the piece carefully plays with words in comparing true African Values with those of the West. This is indeed estimable. I am particularly proud of you. More grease to your elbows. Write on...

Sarah Mills said...

Incredibly beautiful

1 African said...

Lets value our heritage.
Sankofa !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Edith, you are a fine poet. Hone your art. It will take you places that only exist in a heart of adventure.

David Ako Odoi said...

As I straddle the ancestral savannahs
And I see the dirt road meandering through the thatch hut's
And I see the amiable faces,
Forever joy and laughter,
I know this is where my heart is
And will forever be!

Kwame Adadey said...

I can't claim to be an adherent of poetry, but Edith asked me to google her and i decided to give it a try...what can i say..after reading Sankofa i am left with a deep sense of where i come from, and what i should remain. Thanks Edith....