Poem a Month – May 2016
This month we're delighted to be sharing a beautiful poem , Missing My Mum, by Mimi.
Mimi is a refugee from Ethiopia who has lived in the UK since July 2015.
Along with 52 other poets she took part in the Sheffield Poemathon on 2nd April, which raised £14,000 for charities that support refugees and destitute asylum seekers.
Mimi writes: 'I have been helped myself, and now I feel it is important to give something back. When I was in Ethiopia we would help people who needed clothes, food, shelter. It's good to help other people and it feels satisfying.'
Mimi is studying English, writing more poems, and hopes to qualify as a nurse.
River is a former Derbyshire Poet Laureate, who volunteers with refugee groups.
She writes: 'I don't speak Amharic so relied very much on Mimi patiently explaining and discussing each word and sentence. In Amharic there is a two-word phrase ('yenafikot engurguro') which means something like 'the song that people hum when they are missing someone.' We rendered it into English as best we could, but the process of translation made me think yet again about the richness, uniqueness and complexity of language, and how this is one of the riches that those seeking sanctuary bring with them to the UK.'
We hope you enjoy the poem and have included a copy of the Amharic version below.
- Ali & Priscilla
Missing My Mum
In the garden of my memories, the birds are calling
but I only hear the echo of my mother’s voice.
She sits in the shade of the apple tree
her soft voice crosses the mountains and the seas.
She sits alone, humming the song of loneliness.
All day she sits at home, her children far away.
I miss her too. I don’t want to lose her.
Live a long life Mum, and one day, God willing,
I will see you again.