A Dinka song from South Sudan. The singer complains of the breakdown of the marriage arrangements made when Ajok was a baby.

O Ajok! (1)
Ajok whom I chose when she was carried in a sling,
Ajok whom I chose before she could dance,
Ajok whom I chose when she was not yet a clan beauty,
When she grew up, another took her away from me.
What misery! What a way to treat a man!
God has speared me and Marang has speared me. (2)
For the daughter of Kat Atem I have felt misery. (3)
I weep and weep for the sake of Ajok the brown.

from The Dinka of the Sudan (1972)
Francis Deng


Footnotes

  1. Ajok: The young woman.
  2. Marang: Elders still living when the poem was recorded.
  3. Kat Atem: Her father.