Uma (woman) Surinam #poem #BlackLivesMatter #Hillyes

by Johanna Schouten-Elsenhout
Recited by Hillary Clinton in The Hague at an UNESCO conference in 1999

Noti no hei so
Lek’ a sten
D’ e bari
In’ dyugudyugu f’ a dei

A sten moi
A krakti
A n’ abi farsi
Wins’ tranga winti
E seiri en kon

Uma i hei
Y’e brenki
I n’e kanti
A mindri strei
Fu aladei


Nothing is more magnificent
Than the voice
That calls out
In the chaos of the day

That voice is beautiful
She is powerful
She knows no hatefulness
Even if storms
would carry that with them

Woman you are majestic
You shine
You do not falter
In the midst of the struggle
of every day

Niets is zo verheven
Als de stem
Die roept
In de chaos van de dag

Die stem is mooi
Zij is krachtig
Zij heeft geen valsheid
Ook als stormen
Die met zich meevoeren

Vrouw je bent verheven
Je schittert
Je wankelt niet
Te midden van de strijd
Van alledag

Mi no wani wan ati di n’ abi kra I wish for no heart without a soul #BlackLivesMatter #poem Surinam

Surinam is a country with the rule of law and a democracy in Latin America, but counted under the Caribbean like Trinidad and Tobago. Sranantongo is the language. The language is part Dutch, part Indonesian and also has traces of Indian-Indonesian and Chinese-Indonesian. Surinam was a country partly build by slaves and taken from many Indigenous peoples. Google it.

Awese (Winti religion: a good spirit)
Light in the everlasting Dark Moon
Johanna Schouten/Elsenhout

a mindri fu strei fu aladei
In the midst of the struggle of everyday
te midden van de strijd van alledag


Mi no wani
wan ati
di n’ abi kra
mi wani
wan yeye d’ e libi

mi n’e wer’
di n’e fit’mi
m’e wer’
mi eigi krompu

mi n’e sdon
a fesi fu sma
m’e luku ini
mi eigi spikri

Human of the Deed

I wish for
no heart
without a soul
I want
a mind who lives

I wear
no shoes
that do not fit me
I wear
my own clogs

I am not
the faces of others
I look in
my own mirror

Mens van de daad

Ik wil
geen hart
dat geen ziel heeft
ik wil
een geest die leeft

ik draag
geen schoenen
die mij niet passen
ik draag
mijn eigen klompen

ik zit niet
te kijken
naar het gezicht van anderen
ik kijk in
mijn eigen spiegel

klompen: slippers met houten zool
klompen: slippers with wooden sole


More to read here 

Tekstredactie en vertaling D.Fance Olivieira
ISBN 978 99914 7 048 1
145 blz.

Chilling Out Beside the Thames- John Agard, black British poet.

What I did in the London month. Too. I love the humour of Agard talking about the little pidgeon looking on, Anansi the spider and the church’s promises on English ground. Ending with the day’s little pleasure strawberry.

Summer come, mi chill-out beside the Thames.
Spend a little time with weeping willow.
Check if den Trafalgar pidgeon still salute
old one-eyed one-armed Lord Horatio.

Mi treat gaze to Gothic cathedral
Yet me chant forget how spider spiral
Is ladder aspiring to eternal truth…
Trickster Nansi spinning from Shakespeare sky.

Sudden so, mi decide to play tourist.
Tower of London high-up mi list.
Who show up but Anne Boleyn with no head on
And headless Ralegh gazing towards Devon.

Jesus lawd, history shadow so bloody.
A-time for summer break with strawberry.


Cool video of the editor chatting about finding the poems!

Agard is Afro-Guyanese, Jamaican and British.