Poetry

BLACK WOMAN – By Leopold Sedar Senghor

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BLACK WOMAN – By Leopold Sedar Senghor

Naked woman, black woman
Clothed with your colour which is life, with your form which is beauty!
In your shadow I have grown up; the gentleness of your hands was laid over my eyes.
And now, high up on the sun-baked pass, at the heart of summer, at the heart of noon, I come upon you, my Promised Land,
And your beauty strikes me to the heart like the flash of an eagle.

Naked woman, dark woman
Firm-fleshed ripe fruit, sombre raptures of black wine, mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons, savannah shuddering beneath the East Wind’s eager caresses
Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering under the Conqueror’s fingers
Your solemn contralto voice is the spiritual song of the Beloved.

Naked woman, dark woman
Oil that no breath ruffles, calm oil on the athlete’s flanks, on the flanks of the Princes of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the night of your skin
Delights of the mind, the glinting of red gold against your watered skin
Under the shadow of your hair, my care is lightened by the neighbouring suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman
I sing your beauty that passes, the form that I fix in the Eternal,
Before jealous Fate turn you to ashes to feed the roots of life.

(Taken from pages 96 & 97 of ‘WEST AFRICAN VERSE’ – An anthology chosen and annotated by Donatus Ibe Nwoga… First published in 1967 by Longman Group Ltd.)

Your Brother,
Prince Obioha – The Heart of the People…
For: ANUBYA – Fortress of ANU… Temple of MAMI… Kingdom of the SUN.

 

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