100 days… 100 days that should not have been… 100 days the world could have stopped. But did not.
For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem—each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family’s experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tradition of her father—the poet Okot p’Bitek; Anglican hymns; the rhythms and sounds of the African American Spiritual tradition; and the beat of spoken word and hip-hop. 100 Days is a collection of poetry that will stop you in your tracks.
it was the earth that betrayed us first
it was the earth that held onto its beauty
compelling us to return
it was the breezes that were there
& then not there
it was the sun that rose & fell
rose & fell
as if there was nothing different
as if nothing changed