Boy on a Swing

By Osward Mtshali

Slowly he moves
to and fro, to and fro,
then faster and faster
he switches up and down.

His blue shirt
billows in the breeze
like a tattered kite.

The world whirls by:
east becomes west,
north turns to south;
the four cardinal points
meet in his head.

Mother !
Where did i come from?
When will i wear long trousers?
Why was my father jailed?


This poem is a poem that tried to explain living for black people in South Africa during the Apatheid regime. The poets creative ability to express the feeling of the boy on the swing was power and brief and shows the thinking pattern of most black boys in South Africa during the Apatheid regime.
The boy on the swing seems to have lots of uncertainties about his life and his future. And the author was picture clear when he narratted the mood and feeling of his persona the boy on a swing.
The poet shows that the boy was having fun and enjoying the swing when he remembers his situation and that of his father. The persona was also seen to be unsure as to when he will begin to wear long trousers which usually symbolizes adulthood and responsibility.
This poem is a great piece of poetry that tries to dispict the life of children in Apstheid South Africa.

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