The present paper aims to shed light on the poetics of John R. Bradburne (1921-1978) and contextualize his activity as a poet and Franciscan martyr in his Leprosary of Mutwemwa (Zimbabwe). John R. Bradburne is recognized as the most prolific poet writing in English (Crystal). He exported to the ‘expanding circle’ his message of Love in all its literary, linguistic and spiritual load of meaning. The paper provides a brief introduction illustrating the context of Bradburne’s spiritual journey and pilgrimage, from the centre of the empire to the periphery of outcasts in the midst of warfare (Europe, India, Israel, Malaya, Rhodesia) and it describes Bradburne’s poetic production and major themes as heard in his own voice (with the support of original recordings of Bradburne and of people’s voices during pilgrimage). His was a prophetic vision of a common wealth based on inclusion and shared love, in the midst of bloodshed and revolution. The universalistic Franciscan message empowered by linguistic reference to the English literary tradition can only be understood in his affiliation with his space and place of election and belongingness. He chose Africa, and Africa chose him. Europe has not given recognition as yet.
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