By Annmarie Drury

Stray Truths is a stirring advent to the poetry of Euphrase Kezilahabi, one among Africa’s significant dwelling authors, released the following for the 1st time in English. Born in 1944 on Ukerewe Island in Tanzania (then the Territory of Tanganyika), Kezilahabi got here of age within the newly self reliant state. His poetry confronts the duty of postcolonial country construction and its conundrums, and explores own loss in parallel with national disappointments. Kezilahabi sparked controversy whilst he released his first poetry assortment in 1974, introducing loose verse into Swahili. His subsequent volumes of poetry (published in 1988 and 2008) proven his prestige as a pioneering and modernizing literary strength. Stray Truths draws on each one of these landmark collections, permitting readers to come across the myriad varieties and topics major to this poet over a span of greater than 3 a long time. at the same time those poems jettison the restrictions of conventional Swahili varieties, their use of metaphor connects them to conventional Swahili poetics, and their representational suggestions hyperlink them to indigenous African arts extra commonly. thus far, translations of Swahili poetry were excited about scholarly interpretations. This literary translation, by contrast, invitations a large viewers of readers to understand the verbal paintings of this seminal modernist writer.

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Lakini aliyetafuta wali bila mchuzi Alikaa kukusikiliza ukimwaga hekima Na alitoka akishangaa. Jua kupambazuka alirudi tena. 26 • Katika ushairi licha ya hekima kumwaga Ulitafuta kiaminifu ukweli wa maisha Kwa picha na maneno yenye mizani kilio, Na ukatuonyesha utamu wa titi la mama. Vizu’u vi’anja vilivyokuja kwa bu vikifikiri Sisi wa’ama tusoweza kuelewana kichini Havikutambua kilichokuwa nguoni mwao. ” Remembrance  Although I never saw you when you were alive I saw your flowerbeds in your collections and heard your voice weighty with a judge’s authority.

Mbukwa! Mimi Ni K. bin T. Unayafurahiaje maisha baada ya Kufa. Wanasemaje malenga wetu. Mwambie Robati Kwamba yule mzungu amefanya kazi nzuri Na kwamba siku hizi Waafrika wenyewe Wameanza kupalilia bustani yake. Mwambie Kaluta kwamba ule mzozo sasa unajulikana Na kwamba watu wengi siku hizi hutunga mashairi. ” so I can crown you with a coronet of laughter, send you off. Well, then, I’ll send the corpse who says he can call you and through the power of poetic sorcery I’ll resurrect you to sit on your grave so we can talk eye to eye.

I’m thankful to the one who tied me here but I have to shout it out loud: I’m not free in this place! • 21 Tatizo Inaonekana kama kwamba Nje kuna giza lenye mwanga Na ndani kuna mwanga wenye giza, Nami nimekaa pasi mwanga wala giza. Ni kama naona kama sioni. Nimeinama kichwa, karibu kama mjinga Karibu kama mwerevu. Kusoma siwezi, Kuandika siwezi. Nimeshindwa kujua Ninachojua. Lakini kitu hiki kama Nakiogopa kama sikiogopi. 22 • Problem It seems as if outside there’s darkness with light in it and inside there’s light with darkness in it and I sit in a place without light or dark.

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