Certainly many of you had some exciting days during the Football World Cup in South Africa. We’ve had a good time here in Berlin at the lyrikline.org headquarter (at least until the semi finals) with nearly all colleagues in our institution (Literaturwerkstatt Berlin) swept by football fever. In the end, the lyrikline.org office was defeated in the in-house betting pool by the open mike department in a very close race.
The headline of this article is quoted from a nice poem found on lyrikline which seems to have been made for Paul, the octopus oracle that was so (tragically) right this year. Here is the octopus poem by Joanne Burns from Australia.
Thanks to everyone for following our poetic match series on Twitter and Facebook, that presented two poems from the competing countries every day (except for a short holiday break). For the archives, here is the complete list of the poetic encounters:
Finally, congratulations to Spain!
26.10.2009 Palais (Kulturbrauerei), Berlin
Mr President, Ms Köhler, Ladies and Gentelmen,
Africa is home to a vibrant and dynamic oral tradition. Before the word was written on paper, it was written on the minds, hearts and memories of human beings. Oral tradition, or living language, has been used to record genealogy, movement patterns, wars, significant events, and scientific information for millennia. Texts travel from person to person through time and space. Memory serves as both the page and the archive. Each human being who is in possession of stories, poems, and songs about their people is a living library. Therefore human life is valuable not just in and of itself, but also as a storehouse for knowledge that has been passed down for generations.
In South Africa, where I come from, every African family has what is referred to as an isithakazelo in isiZulu. This family poem is a source of immense pride and is perceived as an invaluable cultural heirloom. Children are taught how to say their family praise poem from an early age. This poem is (more…)