Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Song of Laeino

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Song of Laeino

Article excerpt

The Song of Lawino

My husband read much, with the Whites,

He has read everything, in depth,

He is as learned as the Whites,

But reading

has done for him.

It has cut him off from his people,

He is like a trunk

Without roots.

He runs down everything Acholi,

He says

That the customs of the Blacks

Are black

Because his eyes have burst,

And he wears black glasses,

And at his house

It is as black as in a forest!

My husband's house

Is a forest of books!

Some of them are immense,

As big as

Tido trees.

There are old ones

Whose bark is falling off,

And which smell strong,

There are thin, soft ones,

And others whose backs

Are as hard as the rocky trunk of the Poi tree.

Some are green,

Some are blood red,

Others black and oily,

With spines that shine

Like the poisonous ororo snake

Coiled at the top of a tree.

Some have pictures on their backs,

Dead faces of men and women who look like sorcerers,

Unshaven, proud, pot-bellied men,

Or hollow-cheeked, sullen and vengeful-looking,

Pictures of men and women

Long dead. …

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