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A True Revolution: The Poetic Impulse of Afua Cooper


An overriding concern for wholesomeness is what motivates me to create music and poetry. The world is off-balance, and we, its inhabitants, are also off-balance. The western industrialized world with 13% of the world's population consumes 80% of its resources. While the rest of the world (symbolically called the 'Third World') where the majority of the world's population lives, consumes the remaining 20% of the planet's resources. Know that this Third World produces the bulk of the wealth of the world. The contradiction is clear. This situation screams imbalance. This is not right. A change must come. A revolution must occur to redress this wrong. We need a paradigm based on wholism.

I seek wholesomeness in not only the outer world but in the inner one as well. Perhaps it is because we are so imbalanced internally why we have such external chaos. Our mind, spirit, soul, and body must be in accord. I seek harmony in all things.

I make poetry to imprint my vision on the world. Through my art I cry out and rage against all forms of degradation. But I also use my art to revision the world as a place where a new paradigm born from the power of love can be established and prevail. My poem "Woman a Wail" speaks to this:

         Woman a wail; di eart is in labour
          woman a wail; creation in danger
          woman a wail; di eart is in labour
          an what shall she bring forth from her travail?
                    a new way of thinking
                    a new way of living
                    a new understanding
                    a new way fi do tings
                    a new way of looking
                    a new way of seeing
                    and a new new new creation

This is what my ancestors envisioned and clung to as they stared extermination in its face when they crossed the death-dealing Middle Passage in the bottoms of slave ships. What they wrapped around themselves like a warm blanket on a cold night as they burnt down the slave plantations, made rebellion/revolution, and escaped to the mountains to build free communities, or banished slavery altogether and created new and free countries. It is this new creation nurtured by the revolutionary power of love that I hope to create with my poetry and music.


Afua Cooper's works copyright © to the author.


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