A Little Love Poetry

August 22, 2013

When mortals love one another
they will live in mutual understanding forever;
and many things will succeed,
with purity of intention.  —Juma Bhalo, “The Love of Which I Speak”

To celebrate love and tide the blog over in the wake of my wedding, I’ve put together a brief cruise through a book recommendation, highlighting some of the writers whose poetry resonated from the pages of this excellent collection. 

Bending the BowThe book is Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry, edited by Frank M. Chipasula. It journeys through African poetry, starting with anonymous ancient works and then shifting into modern poets—noting each of the writer’s home countries.

The following are a few poets and poems I would particularly recommend reading: Ifi Amadiume (Nigeria) pens to perfection a lover’s sentiments upon being apart and reunited with the poem “One Kiss”; Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa) captures the feeling of oneness in “The Dream in the Next Body”; Juma Bhalo (Kenya) praises the most wonderful attributes of love in “The Love of Which I Speak”; Naana Banyiwa Horne (Ghana) unleashes the strength of romantic love in “You Rock My World.” One last poem that resonated so genuinely was “I Want to Be All Things to You” by Lupenga Mphande (Malawi). 

Now, the board is open to you. Do you have a favorite love poem? We’d love to hear yours, so feel free to share the title and author in the comments.


 Jennifer Rickard Blair
Digital Media Editor

Jen Rickard Blair is the art and web director at World Literature Today.

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