If my memory is not deceiving me, the first time I heard a poem was in primary school during English and reading lessons. I remember going to the library and reading poems with absolutely no understanding of what was being said or what the message behind those words were. I grew up like that for many years till I was introduced to a popular poetry group called exodus when I was in secondary school. Some of my school mates were part of the group and we would go and watch their shows at Maitisong. Back then everyone wanted to be an exodus member, I for one believed that deep down I was actually a talented poet who had not been discovered by the inexperienced talent scouts roaming the streets(lying to myself like that gave me comfort so don’t judge). I loved writing, still do and I’ve always found so much comfort in writing than in venting or expressing myself verbally so I admired poets I’d watch recite what sounded like personal and deep emotions they’d put on paper. Because it’s women’s month we figured we should celebrate and bring to your attention the work of five Batswana women poets who’s work leaves me in tears, contradicted, makes me fall in love all over again and walk away feeling like they ignited the deepest emotions/ feelings in my soul. Today I celebrate TJ Dema, Mmakgosi Anita Tau, Leshie Lovesong and Maya Asiyah Roze!!
Such different and versatile women who I see myself in. My spirituality, sexuality and patriotism evolves every time I get an opportunity to be in their midst or listen to their work. Their authentic beauty (inner and outer) has remained consistent and an inspiration to me!
Happy World Poetry Day to you beautiful poetic souls!