Reminiscences From A Pen
Here is a poem from Abera Jembere’s book, Agony in the Grand Palace, published in 2003 by shama books where the author reminiscences the horror he’s seeen when the Derg took measure against Emperor Haile Selassie I and his 60 other officials in 1974.Ironically, the book was translated into English by Dr. Hailu Araya, who today in his turn ‘languishing’ in Kaliti prison along with other CUD leaders.The message seems aptly relevant to today’s context.
While the text in the book was translated by Dr. Haylu, the translator of this poem is some one else, Dr. Yonas Admasu.Here it goes.
Bid that day return, my dear, dear pen;
To draw the veil on the secrecy
Surrounding those who languished in prison
And those who died in vain
Thier only sin being thier national dedication.
Do not atrophy now, my dear pen
Do not be discomposed at this hour
Commit to the paper the suffering in that dark chamber
Announce to the world all the unbearable torture
Borne by all in the dampness of that dark duneon.
Summon up that fateful week of Hamle
When torrents of blood
Out of many a decent heart flowed
And by the horror of strangulation
The life and grace of a pious patriach was denied.
Why, crude vengeance and susutained rancor
Have become but second nature
In this our land, to this our culture
Where it’s law to kill, incarcerate, or torture
Down one goverment, rises up another
What blemish our histrory was made to sustain
In that frigtful era of the Derg
With thousands of intellectuals vanishing and banished
And a thousand-fold of tender youth slain.
This is but a preface to the history
Of the anguish and suffering of our martyrs.
Leave it to the historians to supply the rest
For future generations to learn and never forget.