Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Nelson Mandela's torment.

I didn't set out to start a war
you bought the war to me
all I ever wanted
was justice, peace, equality.

Did you really believe my imprisonment
would erase my people's anger
did you think you could silence tormented voices
that screamed for justice in a world full of fear.

There was never a doubt in my mind
that my people would run and hide
for even the street rat grows wise
in his quest to belong, to survive.

You say you set me free
but I was a prisoner long before you turned the key
you took my life but never my dream
I died a free man under no one's command.

We all are children of God
there's no need to fuss and fight
it's what's inside that counts
of that I have no doubt.

So let me spell this out
it's not all black and white
we all bleed red, we laugh, we cry,
we live, we learn, we love, we die.

I wish I could rest in peace
but I toss and turn in my grave
for colour's no longer the issue
religion dominates.

So much hatred, so much pain,
land and oil the ultimate gain
freedom fighters, dictatorship,
martyrs, saviours, holy war.

What did I sacrifice my life for.
Font size:

Submitted on June 30, 2015

1:06 min read

Discuss this mag nifico poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Nelson Mandela's torment." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/79983/nelson-mandela's-torment.>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Which female American poet, who was little-known during her lifetime, but had nearly 1800 of her poems published posthumously, rarely titled her poems?
    • A. Amy Lowell
    • B. Emily Dickinson
    • C. Sara Teasdale
    • D. Sylvia Plath

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets