Monday, December 05, 2005


Beads on the bottle of vinho verde,
a plate of prawns bathed
in a heat of passion,
the fado singer keening softly--
reminding me
how much I still
and always
miss you.

Not that I knew you then,
those weekends spent
with friends
around the bay of Lourenco Marques.
But it seems as though
you were in my genes,
even then,
so long ago--
in another lifetime.
Yvonne van Onselen

Starting out with simple description of artifacts associated with this culture, the little things that remind the speaker of a place she once visited, she thinks nostalgically back on her vacation in Africa with friends. Her language sounds as though she knows the place well, as though it is close to her heart, though she says that when she first went there she knew nothing of the palce. But now, looking back on it she has fond momerories of the place. This poem, in its simplicity shows the importance of memories we associate with a certain place. Even though the speaker had no previous attachment to the country, she felt closer to it in her thoughts after she spent time there, "as though [it was] in her genes".


Blogger MValentine said...

I agree with the comment and that the description of the artifacts associated with the love bring a simplistic beauty to the poem. I also like the mention of the proper noun, the name of a place, in the poem because it gives name to an actual place and gives the poem more depth in doing so.

2:52 AM  

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