Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tazana, Tazana

I once was a young one, adventures I sought
The worlds I did travel with one single thought.
Tazana, Tazana.

A lass for I labored of kindly sweet face
For someone who’d love me and give my life grace.
Tazana, Tazana.

But all those I met they just rolled their dark eyes
And no one would answer my love-drunken sighs.
Tazana, Tazana.

Till once on a beach on a dark summer’s night
I glimpsed sweet Tazana in Niño-moon’s light.

Tazana, Tazana, mysterious maid
A bird in the tree and a nymph in the glade
The mermaid that swam away.
She swam, she swam away...

This poem, part of one of the Symphony in Ghulf Major series of novels, came to me powerfully when I read the author of Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese, wax eloquent about an Ethiopian song called “Tizita.” When Modernity goes into serious decline in a fictional future, Ghulfdom, wouldn’t you know it, moves and centers itself in Ethiopia. I did a lot of reading in writing about that country then, but Tizita escaped me. Something about that song, however, must have reached me anyway by way of the Poetic Ether many years ago. The word means memory, nostalgia, and longing...


  1. If you were to write the Tanzana poem today, my dear,I could not help but think that you might even find a fittingly lovely analogy between Tanzana and a butterfly. Mighten'd you?