Letter #18

Poetry is cool.

Here’s one of my favourites, a poem by Denis Brutus from his collection ‘Letters to Martha’, written in a South-African prison. Thanks to Laura for putting me onto Brutus in the first place, and for Ciona for inspiring me to revisit my poetry collection. =)

Letters to Martha, # 18, 20th December, 1965, from a South African Prison

“I remember rising one night
after midnight
and moving
through an impulse of loneliness
to try and find the stars.

And through the haze
the battens of florescents made
I saw pinpricks of white
and I thought they were stars.

Greatly daring
I thrust my arm through the bars
and easing the switch in the corridor
plunged my cell in darkness

I scampered to my window
and saw the splashes of light
where the stars flowered.

But through my delight
thudded the anxious boots
and a warning barked
from the machine-gun post
on the catwalk.

And it is the brusque enquiry
and threat
that I remember of that night
rather than the stars.”


~ by humblemonkey on August 17, 2009.

One Response to “Letter #18”

  1. I have obviously not read your blog recently.
    It was a pleasure to share Brutus!
    I am currently enthralled, once more, by Neruda.

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