Derek Walcott, da “Mappa di un nuovo mondo”

Derek Walcott

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corposes are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
«Waste no conpassion on these separate dead!».
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?

Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilization’s dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of best on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?

Derek Walcott

Un vento scompiglia la fulva pelliccia
Dell’Africa. Kikuyu, veloci come mosche,
Si saziano ai fiumi di sangue del veld.
Cadaveri giacciono sparsi in un paradiso.
Solo il verme colonnello del carcame, grida:
«Non sprecate compassione su questi morti separati!».
Le statistiche giustificano e gli studiosi colgono
I fondamenti della politica coloniale.
Che senso ha questo per il bimbo bianco squartato
nel suo letto?
Per selvaggi sacrificabili come Ebrei? Continua a leggere