Awake to Freedom

They said they came as honest traders,
The fair cape had pointed the way,
They said they weren’t invaders,
But yes, they wanted to stay!

The fair cape had pointed the way,
To this mysterious land of old,
Oh yes, they wanted to stay,
They stayed for the pepper and gold!

To this mysterious land of old,
They brought their soldiers and their king,
They stayed for the pepper and gold,
For the diamond goose without a wing!

They brought their soldiers and their king,
To strike peace with brutish might,
Killed the diamond goose without a wing,
When freedom came one bloody night!

They struck peace with brutish might,
Though they said they weren’t invaders!
Till freedom came one bloody night,
They said they came as honest traders!

“..At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom..” -From Pandit Nehru’s speech declaring the end of British colonial rule.
A pantoum inspired by this poem by Sherry Blue Sky
Linked to Poets United
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43 thoughts on “Awake to Freedom

  1. Wow! Horrors! And an amazing continuation to Sherry’s poem. The form totallly underscores the senseless cause of the pain of a captured people.

    Like

  2. This form underlines the message of the poem so well. (I love pantoums). They always say they come in peace, but they come with an agenda. Same thing happened to our First Nations in Canada. They are still living in a two-tiered system. It was a nice surprise to see my poem sparked one for you. Yay, that makes me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mankind has an ugly greedy history and even wrongs righted hundreds of years later still stain the soil of many nations and their peoples. It is strange that Humanity as a description compared with the reality is so much the reverse and doesn’t seem to be heading in a positive direction even today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve captured the brutality with such a subtle irony here – and such a perfect use of form. Loved the lines: “They brought their soldiers and their king/
    To strike peace with brutish might”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely done.
    Now I am compelled to quote Fanon ๐Ÿ™‚

    โ€œImperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.โ€

    And of course, this one:
    โ€œWhat matters is not to know the world but to change it.โ€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Huzaifa… absolutely right, born in a free country, it’s important to not remain a victim of its past, but to be a change agent of its future. Or just write poetry ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The very nature of breaking traditional form – intrinsic to modern poetry – is essentially a radical act, but like human rights and social justice, radicalism too can be (and has been) coopted by the ever-vigiilant mainstream ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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