Cheddi Jagan 1954

Death to Imperialism

Cheddi Jagan wrote this poem “Death to Imperialism” in 1954, while in prison. This is the only poem he ever wrote.
Source: Ceddi Jagan - Guyana's Hero;
© Nadira Jagan-Brancier.

Today we strive to end our humanity’s pains,
To extract your oppression’s painful tooth,
To cut your vicious circle of our lives,
No work, no land, crime, punishment, crime –
But you tread with savage fascist steps,
With quislings and hired mercenaries
Willing and unwilling slaves and sharers of your loot,
You keep your bayonets at our throats and shout,
Law and Order must prevail,
Don’t read that!
Don’t do that!
Don’t go there!
Our beautiful country a vast prison you have made
And fences built to wrench us from our beloved –
Our homes
Our children
Our Comrades –
You beat us on our heads in the name of peace.
While in cleric robes you call for peace.
For you, peace is our grave and life hereafter
For us peace is joy and life and laughter
For this we march tomorrow
We march to extract your oppression’s painful tooth
To end our humanity’s pains.