Strict forms

Contents

1 Cosante for Kagiso

 

 

1

6 August 2012 Social 4.2

Cosante for Kagiso

The child is crossing the road

and the far side is beyond the horizon

the jackal’s call slices the night

The truck’s momentum is an elephant

furious speed and implacable mass

the jackal’s call slices the night

The child is alive in the middle of the road

the child is flung into the burned black grass

the jackal’s call slices the night

The people burn tires in the rock-strewn streets

they hit their grief with make-shift kieries

the jackal’s call slices the night

The child wants to cross the road

her sister warns her to stay

the jackal’s call slices the night

The child is crossing the road, crossing the road

what can the trucks see through their lifeless glass eyes?

and the jackal’s call slices the night

The Cosante, parallelistic cousante or song, is the name given to a poetic composition formed by a succession of couplets that end with a line that acts as a refrain. These paired couplets need not have the same number of syllables, or identical metre.

Usually the poem is headed by a group of two verses. These two opening verses state the topic which is developed in the following couplets. There is a forward-backward process which add new nuances to the poem.

The cosante is used extensively in the Galician-Portuguese lyrical genre, although we find examples in Spanish poetry as well.