Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

Woman A Wail

Afua Cooper
From:   Utterances and Incantations: Women, Poetry, and Dub in the Black Diaspora, ed. Afua Cooper. SisterVision Press, 1999.


Woman a wail (lead vocals)
di eart is in labour (back-up vocals)
woman a wail (lead vocals)
creation in danger (back-up)

and what shall she bring forth from her travail?
Her mountains shall roar and spit fire
her bowels shall move and cause the eart to split
from one end to another
our minds too shall be rent asunder
this woman shall avenge herself

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning,
fair as the moon, clear as the sun,
but terrible as an army with banners*
She wail an bawl
as she destroy but
she create again and again
she wail an shriek
as she bring forth
a new way of thinking
a new way of living
a new understanding
and a new new new creation

From the mouth of the Ganges
from the throat of the Yangtze
from the heart of the Niger
from the belly of the Amazon
she dance
she dance down lightning and thunder
she dance down brimstone and fire
she is a mighty earthquake
she is a non-stop hurricane
she dance
     and
       dance
and    dance and dance

she dance down lightning and thunder
she dance down brimstone and fire, fire
she is a mighty whirlwin
she is a non-stop volcano, ooh

She dance her dance of terror
she dance her dance of fear
look she dancing on the four winds
dancing the world's end, ooh

ah seh

woman a wail (lead vocal)
the eart is in labour (back-up)
woman a wail (lead)
creation in danger (back-up)
woman a wa-eh-eh-eh-eh -ail (lead)
the eart is in labour (back-up)

and what shall she bring forth from her travail
what shall she bring forth from her travail?
A new way of tinking
a new way of living
a new understanding
a new way fi si tings
a new way fi do tings
and
A new Creation
A new Creation
A new Creation

*Song of Solomon, chap. 6, verse 10.



Afua Cooper's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page