Aisha Yesufu

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Heart exalted from the mountain of strength
to undertake blessed ventures afresh
Meet the goddess of divine punishment
who gives cannibals a taste of their flesh

The heroine for whom our clock ticks on
She has marked our age on the sands of time
but makes us the owner of her passion
We assume therefore we do her grace mime

Room with a fireplace, vessel breathing fire
They soon plunge through bushes like antelopes
that did your resentment and crusade hire
Now, your children awake their dreams and hopes

Marked with a sword of the sorrowing tongue
which touched your shoulder with the sword of rights
You will never wear out by bearing young
nor be put to rout by your honest fights

Perch for tame birds, Boudicca of our age
A woman against whom men are measured
You do not watch vile hands tear off our page,
rape and torture your children so treasured

Meet a daughter from the town built of stones
A pilgrim through the road to our story
who seeks our freedom with all of her bones
and lets us, her young, bear all the glory

Brave queen who leaves eternal white footprints
Whose gait is borne with the strength of the sea
who of a freer tomorrow gives hints
March astride the soil; your young make this plea

Armour for the faint breast of each warhorse
While the lower forces join in your toil,
the earth gladly interacts with your course
Reign on, as potent, on African soil

Amazing powder for drying our wounds
Each of the injured spirits now frolics
Thank you for your sweat below suns and moons
Your used handkerchiefs turn sacred relics

  • Sochukwu Ivye is a linguistic stylistician, a rhythmist and a distinctive metrist. His epic, The Great Cold, is the longest metrical poem by an African.

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