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International | Arts + Action | Environment & Forest Defense

A Poem By Ken Saro-Wiwa, Poet, Writer, Environmental Activist Hanged
by Ken Saro-Wiwa And Editor
Saturday Sep 15th, 2012 11:50 AM
(Nigeria's Ken Saro-Wiwa was a poet, writer and nonviolent environmental activist. Shell Oil pressured the Nigerian government to hang him and his fellow activists, those who worked to end the pollution of the Niger Delta and to keep Nigeria's resources for Nigeria.)
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ken.jpg

Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Poem“The True Prison”



It is not the leaking roof
Nor the singing mosquitoes
In the damp, wretched cell
It is not the clank of the key
As the warden locks you in
It is not the measly rations
Unfit for beast or man
Nor yet the emptiness of day
Dipping into the blankness of night
It is not
It is not
It is not

It is the lies that have been drummed
Into your ears for a generation
It is the security agent running amok
Executing callous calamitous orders
In exchange for a wretched meal a day
The magistrate writing into her book
A punishment she knows is undeserved
The moral decrepitude
The mental ineptitude
The meat of dictators
Cowardice masking as obedience
Lurking in our denigrated souls
It is fear damping trousers
That we dare not wash
It is this
It is this
It is this
Dear friend, turns our free world
Into a dreary prison

1993


Picture source: http://www.todayinliterature.com/biography/ken.sarowiwa.asp