Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali Poems

Poems » oswald mtshali

Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali
Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali (b. 1940) is a South African poet. He has written in both Zulu and English. He studied at Columbia University. Mtshali worked as a messenger in Soweto before he became a poet, and his first book, Sounds of a Cowhide Drum (1971), explores both the banality and extremity of apartheid through the eyes of working men of South Africa, even while it recalls the energy of those Mtshali frequently calls simply "ancestors." It was published with a preface by Nadine Gordimer. Sounds of a Cowhide Drum was one of the first books of poems by a black South African poet to be widely distributed, and provoked considerable debate among the white South African population, but it was extremely successful, making a considerable profit for its white publisher, Lionel Abrahams. The title of the book is explained by an image in a poem with the same title: I am the drum on your dormant soul, cut from the black hide of a sacrificial cow. I am the spirit of your ancestors. . .

the birth of shaka
His baby cry
was of a cub
tearing the neck
of the lioness
because he was fatherl... [read poem]
Continue in Rick Fields »»»

Page 1 of 1