20 November 2010

poetry & art no.3

Afrique mon Afrique
Afrique des fiers guerriers dans les savanes ancestrales
Afrique que me chantait ma grand-mère
Au bord de son fleuve lointain
Je ne t’ai jamais connue
Mais mon regard est plein de ton sang
Ton beau sang noir à travers les champs répandu
Le sang de ta sueur
La sueur de ton travail
Le travail de l’esclavage
L’esclavage de tes enfants
Afrique dis-moi Afrique
Est-ce donc toi ce dos qui se courbe
Et se couche sous le poids de l’humilité
Ce dos tremblant à zébrures rouges
Qui dit oui au fouet sur les routes de midi
Alors gravement une voix me répondit
Fils impétueux cet arbre robuste et jeune
Cet arbre là -bas
Splendidement seul au milieu de fleurs blanches et fanées
C’est l’Afrique ton Afrique qui repousse
Qui repousse patiemment obstinément
Et dont les fruits ont peu à peu
L’amère saveur de la liberté.

the english translation:

Africa my Africa
Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs
Africa of whom my grandmother sings
On the banks of the distant river
I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins
Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the fields
The blood of your sweat
The sweat of your work
The work of your slavery
Africa, tell me Africa
Is this your back that is unbent
This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation
This back trembling with red scars
And saying no to the whip under the midday sun
But a grave voice answers me
Impetuous child that tree, young and strong
That tree over there
Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers
That is your Africa springing up anew
Springing up patiently, obstinately
Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
The bitter taste of liberty.

I first read this poem in my french class a few years ago and have never forgotten it.  I wanted to share the poem with you but couldn't come up with a work of art to pair it with like I normally do.  This time I'm asking you to.  If you have a suggestion feel free to post it. 

★ Poem: Afrique by David Diop


  1. What a beautifully written poem. It really hits you. I can't think of anything to pair it with, though... I feel like it doesn't need it though. The imagery is so vivid as it is.


  2. It truly is a beautiful poem. I just stumbled upon your blog and I think its wonderful. I will definitely start following.

    -Ana, (In)Sane

  3. You are really talented. Thank you for sharing!
    xoxo from Hannie

  4. this doesn't fit perfect, but its my MET painting of the day...

    Winslow Homer's "The Gulf Stream"

    check it out

  5. i really like this poem, and im not a big poetry fan.


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