Return to My Native Land


(my ancestors are)

Those who invented neither gunpowder nor compass
those who tamed neither steam nor electricity
those who explored neither sea nor sky
but those who know the humblest corners of the country of suffering
those whose only journeys were uprootings
those who went to sleep on their knees

My negritude is neither a tower nor a cathedral;
It plunges into the red flesh of the earth

–Aime Cesaire, Return to my Native Land

Source: ‘n Ander Tongval by Antjie Krog (Available in English as A Change of Tongue)