[DEBATE] : Brutus poem, 'Off the campus: Wits', 20/4/09
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Apr 20 22:10:58 BST 2009
(Dennis: "I was a law student at Wits for awhile, though prison
truncated the education. I was given a Leeds scholarship but was denied
a passport. Leeds said I could use the funding to study at Wits instead.
I went to sign up and found the shortest queue for registration was law.
My studies occasioned interesting debates with Joe Slovo about whether a
good lawyer could work within apartheid judicial power. I also witnessed
racism in sports, which this poem documents.")
Off the campus: Wits
Tree-bowered in this quaint romantic way
we look down on the slopes of sunlit turf
and hear the clean-limbed Nordics at their play.
We cower in our green-black primitive retreat
their shouts pursuing us like intermittent surf
peacock-raucous, or wracking as a tom-tom’s beat;
so we withdraw from present, place and man
—to green-clad Robin with an iron beak
or Shakespeare lane-leaf-hidden from a swollen Anne.
So here I crouch and nock my venomed arrows
to pierce deaf eardrums waxed by fear
or spy, a Strandloper, these obscene albinos
and from the corner of my eye
catch glimpses of a glinting spear.
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