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HomeNewsArchivesPOET EDGAR LAKE PAYS TRIBUTE TO GHANA

POET EDGAR LAKE PAYS TRIBUTE TO GHANA

St. Croix poet and playwright Edgar Lake’s poem, To Ghana, was published in the prestigious Presence Africaine, one of the oldest journals with literary content on the Black African world experience.
Lake’s poem was read to the Great Asantehene of Ghana at the UNESCO Slave Atlantic Project in Ghana in mid-March of last year. The poem traces the ancestral ties between the people in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Akan nation in Ghana. The Great Asantehene of Ghana died on March 25, 1999.
Wallace Willams, head librarian at the Florence Williams Public Library on St. Croix, interviewed Lake recently. Read their conversation by clicking here.
To Ghana
By Edgar Lake
Ghana, we send you our heartbeat
Torn from everything else
And yet stirred by the seawater again
Once we had sent Rebekka
Who met Protten in Herrnhut
Together they returned to Ghana
And wrote a Twi dictionary
Together they opened a school for children
But gunpowder is a better kolanut
And we became separated
We had prepared Cornelius
And he began to prepare others
He studied Phillip Quaque's letters
And re-wrote them as his own
Bu the trade winds whispered: stay,
Grace those who have been crossing
And singing and listening for so long
Rest with them here
But we still long for warm palm oil
Our eyelids still droop heavily
From fighting alongside you at Jaga
The hyena laughed at us in Kwango
But we bound up the memory of Edinaa
Into a cotta for heavy burdens:
Now we let down our crown of cloth
Only to dance the pitchy-patchy masquerade
A dancing quilt for our lullabies
Still, we can hear our hearts pounding
As the salt of time is borne by the sea
Nothing has muffled its rhythmic tremors
We have tried to raise the palaver flagOf our Elmina Governors
Who sat together witnessing John Connu's forts
Go from Dutch to English colors
But our children are still sewing
Its ragged fluttering edges
Meanwhile, our women dance the Bamboula
Using the flag as their skirts
And when the blind man passes, we say:
It is only the palm trees at Anomabu
When he taps his cane to the beat
It is the great dam of Akosombo
We have taken care of those who were sent to us:
Nkrumah, Osei, Awooner, Sarah
Gratitude was the ale of our grief
Our tears are home plots in Tres Puntas
When we clear our throats
It is still to hear King Opuku Ware speak
When we stand still
it is to catch our breath from Assemeni
"King of Akwamu," we would say,
"Take the marks of gold!"
"Weave them into the cloth Oyokoman"
Dear Great Asantehene:
We are one cloth; we are coming
But we still see Quaque
Walking in the hot sands of
Cape Coast Castle

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St. Croix poet and playwright Edgar Lake’s poem, To Ghana, was published in the prestigious Presence Africaine, one of the oldest journals with literary content on the Black African world experience.
Lake’s poem was read to the Great Asantehene of Ghana at the UNESCO Slave Atlantic Project in Ghana in mid-March of last year. The poem traces the ancestral ties between the people in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Akan nation in Ghana. The Great Asantehene of Ghana died on March 25, 1999.
Wallace Willams, head librarian at the Florence Williams Public Library on St. Croix, interviewed Lake recently. Read their conversation by clicking here.
To Ghana
By Edgar Lake
Ghana, we send you our heartbeat
Torn from everything else
And yet stirred by the seawater again
Once we had sent Rebekka
Who met Protten in Herrnhut
Together they returned to Ghana
And wrote a Twi dictionary
Together they opened a school for children
But gunpowder is a better kolanut
And we became separated
We had prepared Cornelius
And he began to prepare others
He studied Phillip Quaque's letters
And re-wrote them as his own
Bu the trade winds whispered: stay,
Grace those who have been crossing
And singing and listening for so long
Rest with them here
But we still long for warm palm oil
Our eyelids still droop heavily
From fighting alongside you at Jaga
The hyena laughed at us in Kwango
But we bound up the memory of Edinaa
Into a cotta for heavy burdens:
Now we let down our crown of cloth
Only to dance the pitchy-patchy masquerade
A dancing quilt for our lullabies
Still, we can hear our hearts pounding
As the salt of time is borne by the sea
Nothing has muffled its rhythmic tremors
We have tried to raise the palaver flagOf our Elmina Governors
Who sat together witnessing John Connu's forts
Go from Dutch to English colors
But our children are still sewing
Its ragged fluttering edges
Meanwhile, our women dance the Bamboula
Using the flag as their skirts
And when the blind man passes, we say:
It is only the palm trees at Anomabu
When he taps his cane to the beat
It is the great dam of Akosombo
We have taken care of those who were sent to us:
Nkrumah, Osei, Awooner, Sarah
Gratitude was the ale of our grief
Our tears are home plots in Tres Puntas
When we clear our throats
It is still to hear King Opuku Ware speak
When we stand still
it is to catch our breath from Assemeni
"King of Akwamu," we would say,
"Take the marks of gold!"
"Weave them into the cloth Oyokoman"
Dear Great Asantehene:
We are one cloth; we are coming
But we still see Quaque
Walking in the hot sands of
Cape Coast Castle