Tag Archives: Slavery

Slave Music

This poem was written when we were studying the poem Limbo (by Edward Kamau Brathwaite) which explained how slaves often used music to keep up morale.

This poem is set more for those slaves who worked on plantations rather than those still being transported but the essence is similar.

There are two separate stories here, the story of one slave being uplifted from the despair of his situation and the other is the way in which all slaves were uplifted when they heard of the abolishment of slavery-music to their ears.

Slave Music

Red as roses, as fragrant too,

The blood that spills with a rusty hue,

A cut is small, the pain drowned out,

By darker pains that dare to shout,

With body battered, thought denied,

Yet soul is bare and mortified,

While fingers tremble, breathing slows,

From an open heart, music flows,

Notes that lift and float and sing,

Unaware of the hope they bring,

For gentle tunes can lift the eyes,

From the ground to gaze on highs,

Sometimes faith can bring on joy,

But music is a stronger buoy.

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