Another Africa

Another Africa

by Robert Lyons, Chinua Achebe
     
 

This haunting new book of photographs from Robert Lyons, with accompanying poems by the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, explores the difficult question of how Africa is perceived in the Western imagination. See more details below

Overview

This haunting new book of photographs from Robert Lyons, with accompanying poems by the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, explores the difficult question of how Africa is perceived in the Western imagination.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385490382
Publisher:
Doubleday Religious Publishing
Publication date:
10/20/1998
Edition description:
1 ANCHOR
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
9.61(w) x 9.62(h) x 0.67(d)

Read an Excerpt

I will not mourn with you
your lost populations, the silent columns
of your fief erased
from the king's book of numbers

For in your house of stone
by the great road
you listened once to refugee voices
at dawn telling of massacres and plagues
in their land across seven rivers

Like a hornbill in flight
you tucked in your slippered feet
from the threshold
out of their beseeching gaze

But a pestilence father
than faraway tales of dawn
had bought a seat in Ogun's reckless
chariot and knocks by nightfall
on your iron gate.

Take heart oh chief; decimation
by miscount, however grievous,
is a happy retreat from bolder uses
of the past. Take heart, C
for these scribal flourishes
behind smudged entries, these
trophied returns of clerical headhunters
can never match the quiet flow
of red blood.

But if my grudging comfort fail,
then take this long and even view to AD 2000
when the word is due to go out again
and--depending on which Caesar
order the count--new conurbations
may sprout in today's wastelands,
and thriving cities dissolve
in sudden mirages

and the ready-reckoners at court
will calculate their gain
and our loss, and make us
any-number-of-million-they-like strong!

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