March 15, 2011
Just Read || Manzovo
'Manzovo: Place of the Elephants' really struck a chord with me.
It is a poem written by Gary Albyn, a Zimbabwean born in 1960 who currently lives in South Africa. His poem is about a herd of elephants who travel from Zimbabwe's Mana Pools to South Africa's Limpopo during a migration.
Thandi is the matriarch - she gives birth to Lesedi, the last of her five calves, in the Zambezi Valley and begins her herd's journey through the bushveld.
But as they go they are confronted by the expansion of the human empire - from encountering juicy swathes of farmland, the massive Kariba dam and even narrowly escaping a cull, the reader is poignantly reminded of the impact that humankind has had on these gentle and intelligent creatures.
Although I didn't have the opportunity to read the poem aloud - as it's rhythm is perfect for this type of reading - the beat is still powerful enough to bring tears to your eyes in the most saddening moments.
The poem ends with a reminder of human's place on earth, and of the fact that we are squandering it relentlessly.
Meanwhile, the illustrations by Craig Bone are stunning, and this book is perfect for your coffee table!