Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Good People, Great Nation.

"We live, with feeling no country under our feet…" –Osip Mandelstam wrote this in a fourteen-line poem, when he was faced with the tyranny of Joseph Stalin in Russia many years ago. Today, Nigeria, bamboozled by a languid oligarchic civilian rule, the words that come to me are: “I have no country under my feet.” Hmmm! Good People, Great Nation.


W.S Mervin translates it as: "Our lives no longer feel ground under them," I however prefer this raw translation - which appears literal and captures the genuine character of a native speaker. I think.

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