Kwame Dawes Reads ‘The Weaver Bird’ by Kofi Awoonor

BY Tom LeGro  September 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM EDT

Wednesday on the PBS NewsHour, poet Kwame Dawes remembers his uncle, Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, who was killed in the terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Dawes read one of his uncle’s most famous works, “The Weaver Bird.”

 
The Weaver Bird
By Kofi Awoonor

The weaver bird built in our house
And laid its eggs on our only tree.
We did not send it away.
We watched the building of the nest
And supervised the egg-laying.
And the weaver returned in the guise of the owner.
Preaching salvation to us that owned the house.
They say it came from the west
Where the storms at sea had felled the gulls
And the fishers dried their nets by lantern light.
Its sermon is the divination of ourselves
And our new horizon limits at its nest.
But we cannot join the prayers and answers of the
  communicants.
We look for new homes every day.
For new altars we strive to re-build
The old shrines defiled by the weaver’s excrement.