Friday, May 30, 2014

Before a Common Soil - Ifeanyi Menkiti

Before a Common Soil
by Ifeanyi Menkiti
(Read at the Wellesley Class of 2014 Baccalaureate)

Let this then be your understanding,
You sons and daughters of the ancient starts
That your home reaches beyond
The earth which is your home.
May you go forth across the land
And with the movement of flutes
Celebrate the blessings
Which the gods have given you.
May you catch the shifting of the light
At the tip of the flute's tongue;
And may you ask of the darkness
That it remain with you
Lest the light lose sight
Of whence it came.
Yes, I have heard song
The power of which was not of the world
Though the singer of it was in the world;
And I have called out to you,
Children of the undivided earth,
That you join your hands together
And be of one accord before a common soil--
Lest the rivers cease to water the land,
Lest the voices of the singers be forever stilled.
Yes, I have heard song
The power of which was not of the world
Though the singer of it was in the world.

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