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Limits of Imagination


White fantasy about black sexuality

Tantalised the ‘civilised’ world with acceptability

Of the tanned noble savage

With old money and family estates


Me Tarzan — you Jane”

His animalistic aggression made plain

Yet only made tame by white Jane

All these years in the jungle

Virginal—until Jane

No daughter of Chief or warrior Queen

Ignited a flame


This fantasy could not stretch to a white child

Lovingly raised by black people

The pen preferred a white lord reared by apes!

Mothering apes had more compassion

More compulsion to care

For an infant human

Than the non-human/non-animal original inhabitants of the land

Neither writer nor reader had any appetite for one morsel

Of humanity in black humans


The quill portrayed

A man that was raised by apes

A man preserved for his kind

Of which there was none until

Gentle Jane

The page could not support his innocence lost to

The hyper-sexualised African woman with exaggerated features

Who did not seek her own

But departed from nature to

consort with beasts


Polite society and easily offended

Delicate sensibilities

Demanded a respectable wait for Jane

To tame that jungle mane


NairobI Thompson (c) 2021



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