Emmanuel Saye Blime was born 1985 in Liberia, where he spent his youth listening to gun sounds and to the cry of men, women, and children. In recent years, Blime won the Poet of the Year Editor's Choice Award for his poem "War In Shame,” a descriptive poem full with images of wars. A refugee, poet, and student, Blimie currently resides in Minnesota as.
“War in Shame”
I walked in war I've seen a lot
Things I saw lie in disguise
I came across dead lies aside
Without any hope in me to reign,
My world I thought was ought to end.
Walking miles without a car,
I feared the one who crush the dead-
Who shatter heart stills in darkness,
And stretches arms to evil deeds.
Walking miles without a ride,
I came upon them seated still
Disturb inside, I looked away
A lady I saw raped and dead.
More sad than all I've ever seen
She gives away a louder call
In hope her voice will be heard.
In vain an echo display her cry
This mom in tears, shouts for help
Again her voice came unheard.
Her kids stared with doubt, in wait
Just to see their mother's face.
My eyes beheld those kids with tears,
Springling down in silent fear.
I walked in war I saw those kids,
Searching up in pile up trash,
With eyes in wait to win a bread.
Those kids in search had no care.
Innocent in war lost their love.
They whisper me to be their dear,
I took the charge and became to care.
I walked in war, I saw disgust
Painful dust prevail the cloud
Every eyes beheld in tears.
I walked in war, I saw a lot
All I saw lied in shame.
Questions for Reflection: “War in Shame”
- Try and put aside what you have read of Blimie’s poem. Think of having seen Voices in Wartime, or the content of other poems you have read. How would you describe walking in the middle of a war?
- How is it that you want to remove yourself from a scene that is unspeakable?
- How does Blimie react to what he sees?
- How do the woman’s children react? Is it not natural for them to think that their mother will return—even though they know it isn’t true?
- Blimie sees things in disgust and disguise. What is the difference as he walks through war?
- What is the shame that Blimie feels?
- How does the cadence and the use of words in the poem suggest that it was written by someone whose English is different than your own?