The Free City of Benghazi

22 April 2011, 2:27 pm

The Free City of Benghazi
(After W.B. Yeats)

I want to live now and go, and go to Libya, Benghazi,
and there brew some coffee, bake bread;
a few chairs where people can sit and look out on the sea
and tell me how it is to arise from the dead…

(full poem forthcoming in Groundwork, Kwela Books/ Snailpress, 2012)

(This poem is based on W.B. Yeats’s ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’)

The lines and idea came to me as I was listening to this song by Libyan revolutionaries in the Nafusa Mountains (link tweeted by one of the Libyan tweeters I follow).

The English translation reads:

Where do you want us to go?
Give me your hand
So we can go to Benghazi
The City of Freedom
So we can go to Zawiya
The City of Martyrs
So we can go to Zintan
The City of Knights
And in the end Libya will be free, and we will live in love and tranquility


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