Daniel Yeboah – Englishman’s Free Verse

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Englishman’s Free Verse

I am a critic, this is a critique of the travails of a wordsmith

Who journeys far, into the distant reaches of time,

into the depths of his soul with the burden

of infusing drugged consciousness.

Thrown off balance in this circus of Modus Literati,

these inked lines are not mine but the words

of a rebel muse:

Driven into consternation at the sanctimonous injustice

of a stranger’s bookishness,

That which desecrates the wholesomeness of

our “African-ess”


I speak,

of the Englishman’s ideals of literacy which for centuries past has strived,

to wipe away our notion of a pre-existent abundance of knowledge

This semblance of ownership that leaves my people with nothing

Only empty space, a void called nothingness

Where in the face of logic,

Preserved credibility, is labelled as backwardness

Our stolen structures, they call conventions

They preach total change and adaptation as a panacea

to heal the shredded fragments of an incomplete past

And thus:

Our walk into the past is refracted, shrouded in some mysterious shell

Fragile, but instilled fear holds us back from stepping into the unknown


Struggling to find ourselves in a world we do not belong

Our identity sinks deeper into the murky depths of confusion

In our schools,

the Englishman’s free verse has only served as a new means

of garroting the very life out of our beings

Cutting off our hold on the elements of this sanity which is

our “African-ess”

Our eyes, are blinded, we are tongue-tied even as our

“anansesɛm”, “anwensɛm”, our life’s

blood is berated, connoted as savagery


So if the muse departs, who will rise up to speak,

Speak of our knowingness?

Who will wield the truth of our intellect?

Our black consciousness is tired of a free verse presented in a white scope


and let fly the soul of our race,

The African free verse that has lain in decadence

and decorum since the last sounding of the



anansesɛm —folk stories (Ananse stories)

anwensɛm —poetry

                        DANIEL YEBOAH                          

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