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Muyaka Stanza


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African Verse

The Muyaka Stanza is named for 20th century Kenyan poet Bwana Muyaka from stanzas in his poem Itakapo kukutana. The stanza is a form of Kiswahili poetry. (poetry in the Swahili language.) This is the only thing I know for sure about this stanzaic form.

Information in English is stingy at best and I make assumptions and piece information together from articles that may briefly make mention of the stanza form or the poet. I assume the stanza is a quatrain because the quatrain is a standard of Kiswahili poetry. Another feature of Kiswahili poetry is repetition. Not just the repetition of words or phrases but of poetic tools, rhyme, alliteration, and meter.

Here is a stanza written by Bwana Muyaka but not from Itakapo kukutana so I don't know if this is an example of the Muyaka Stanza or not. One thing for sure is it is a stanza by Muyaka and it fits the assumptions previously mentioned.

Ai ngano na samli, viliwa vyema khiyari             
Vitu viawavyo mbali, Renu na Baunagari
Apao mwende akari, mola humjazi kheri
Ai ziwa na sukari, itakapo kukutana
---Oh, wheat and ghee! Delicious selected food
   Things imported from far lands, Portugal and India
---He who shares a little with fellow beings, God blesses him with bounty
---Oh milk and sugar! When the two are used together.


African Poetic Genres and Forms

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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