One of the discoveries I liked most in the last month is by poet Lemn Sissay, South Bank Artist in Residence. I first heard of him in early 2009, during a photographic exhibition about poets in the National Portrait Gallery. Well, anything that comes from Ethiopia, where Lemn Sissay was born in 1967, calls my attention, but his "Love Poem" which was featured along with his portrait by Madeleine Waller captivated me even more:
"You remind me
If you died
Here is the first poem of his book "Listener", which can be also read as a song, "(...) his poems are songs of the street", according to the Independent newspaper:
Let There be Peace
"Let there be peace
So frowns fly away like albatross
And skeletons foxtrot from cupboards;
So war correspondents become travel show presenters
And magpies bring back lost property,
Children, engagement rings, broken things.
Let there be peace
So storms can go out to sea to be
Angry and return to me calm;
So the broken can rise and dance in the hospitals.
Let the aged Ethiopian man in the grey block of flats
Peer through his window and see Addis before him
So his thrilled outstretched arms become frames
For his dreams.
Let there be peace.
Let tears evaporate to form clouds, cleanse themselves
And fall into reservoirs of drinking water.
Let harsh memories burst into fireworks that melt
In the dark pupils of a child's eyes
And disappear like shoals of darting silver fish.
And let the waves reach the shore with a
Shhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh."
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