Cry the Beloved Country: by Alan Paton
My kids are young. My kids are young, and sometimes my heart almost bursts with love for them. My kids are young. My kids are young, and sometimes I am so in awe that I almost feel as if I can’t breathe for the love and hope I have for them. My kids are young. At times they pout or stomp or kick, but all is forgiven because my kids are young.
Yet how will my heart beat if they take my heart, the values taught them, and throw them into the dusty ground as they drive away towards The City of Destruction? If my lungs can hardly breathe with love and hope, how will my chest be able to lift the heavy load of despair if they waste their breath on cursing and mocking. If love hurts, how much does grief hurt? If hope makes breathing hard, how much more despair?
What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow: What are brief? today and tomorrow: What are frail? spring blossoms and youth: What are deep? the ocean and truth. by Christina Rossetti
I just finished the 1949 classic Cry the Beloved Country. It is about a father of a son called Absalom. It is about a nation called South Africa. It is about a man of faith who bows down with grief and rises again with faith. It is a novel whose “happy ending” is waiting with patience and hope and hard work. It is about the land. It is about the city. It is about black. It is about white. It is about good. It is about evil. It is about heaviness and sorrow. About brevity and tomorrow. About frailty and youth. The deep aches of truth.
And it is also about spring blossoms and youth.
Here is an excerpt from a book review:
As heartachingly beautiful as the continent of Africa itself, Alan Paton’s poetic prose evokes the majestic cadence of the King James Bible. Such a serious style, after all, is befitting of an examination of such weighty issues and strong emotions.
I would love to hear if you read this book. I love discussing books I have read and enjoyed.
P.S. I would recommend listening to this book on audio as there are many Zulu words that add to the rhythm of the Cry. Here is the first chapter (only 3 minutes). Enjoy.
To learn more about the author, Alan Paton click on the link.