Here on your left

Are the grinding stones

The big one

Ashen and dusty

And her daughter

Sitting in her belly

Are the destroyers of millet

Mixed with cassava

And sorghum.




The mother stone

Has a hollow stomach

A strange woman

She never gets pregnant

And her daughter

Never gets fatter

She gets smaller and smaller

Until she is finished.

Song of Lawino (1972)

Lawino, an African woman laments the cultural loss of her husband Ocol. The latter, consumed by a new world, attempts to explain himself. Great African poetry, translated from the Acholi (Luo) language to English, a great gift to the wider world.




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