Europe, your foundations
Are laid on a rough stone.
Your heart is like cobwebs
That are dry in the desert.
Your children fill us with fear:
They are like the young of a puff adder
Who devour the flesh of their parent.
Once I believe the tales.
Once I believed you had breats
Over-flowing with milk.
I saw you rushing with books
From which the oracles derive their prophecies.
I heard you in the forest
Crying like wolves,
Breaking the bones of your clans.
I know the hardness of your visions:
You closed the doors
And chose the bridegroom of steel.
You chose her not to love
But because she alone remained
Dedicated to silence.
From her you made your prophecies
And summoned the oracles:
You laughed at the blind men
But you yourself were blind,
Struggling in this great night.
Children have inherited the fire.
They blow its flames to the skies
Burning others in their sleep.
What will the sun say?
The sun will laugh
Because it burnt out cradles from age to age.
from Poems of Black Africa, edited by Wole Soyinka. Mazisi Kunene lived 1930 to 2006. He wrote all his poetry originally in Zulu. He was South African.
6 thoughts on “Europe, by Mazisi Kunene”
I first came into contact with this poem in 1994 and I fell in love with it. In fact it is my best. Thaks Mr. Kunene.
this is a great poem!!
Im very emutted with it even though you are not alive.
A poet or writer dies but never will his work
The poem is really technical and good for Africans even daught one could interprete it in varied way.
Kunene my man! You ‘ve really defined the Whites (colonialist)