Poetry Break

Somo la Kumi na Mbili

Au: Mzee na Kiboko Wake

Poetry break: I wrote this poem last weekend after a long day of working on my PhD dissertation. (translation in the comments below)    

Enjoy!

 

Kulikuwa na kiboko
Ndani ya soko
“Ala!” alisema mteja,
“Kwa nini uko na kiboko?”

“Eh — ” sauti ilitoka kwa ndani;
“Tafadhali, nisamehe, samahani!”
Na yule mzee, anayebeba milele,
Alitaka kusema kitu fulani:

“Usikufe bila kuishi,
Na usiishi bila udadisi;
Unapaswa kusafiri dunia kila nafasi
Unayopata; twende pamoja, sisi!”

“Eh!” Mteja ashangaza!
“Hilo shauri linanifurahisha,
Lakini niambie kitu kimoja, tafadhali —
Na pia, nisamehe,
Na pia, kwangu, samahani —

Nitajifunza kitu gani,
Kutoka soko lako,
Na kiboko ndani?”

 

 

Kiboko

About Carol Jean Gallo

PhD student at Cambridge. Interested in local context and global affairs and the crossroads and misinterpretations between them.
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One Response to Poetry Break

  1. Here is a basic English translation:

    Lesson Twelve
    Or: The old woman and her hippopotamus

    There was a hippopotamus
    In the market
    “Yikes!” said a customer,
    “Why do you have a hippopotamus?”

    “Well –” a voice came from inside
    “Please, forgive me, I apologize!”
    And this old woman, who was carrying rice,
    She wanted to say a certain thing:

    “Do not die without living,
    And do not live without curiosity;
    You must travel the world every chance
    That you get; let’s go together!”

    “What!” The customer is shocked!
    “This advice makes me very happy,
    But tell me one thing, please–
    And forgive me, also,
    And I, too, apologize —

    What kind of thing will I learn,
    From your market,
    With the hippopotamus inside?”

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