Africa, African Americans, Africans, Poetry




The torrents of my blood whistled along the banks of my


During the night and the days more lonely than the night.

The dams and walls held fast against the treacherous weight,

Against the hammering; and there I was

Beating my head in despair like a disturbed child.

At a sign from my Guardian Angel, I said peace to my soul,

But what a fight without a trainer, and my whole body


With the diligence of a peasant, I filled away patiently

For the seventeen hours of the summer day, as when the


Had to be gathered under the threat of stormy skies.

The other morning – I’ve already lost track of time and

place –

I felt the milk drops of truth on my cheek.

Outside, it was still night, and not a star shone from a

distant farm.

Little by little I was bathed by dawn and the wet, tender,

green turf

Of an unmistakeable softness. Raising my eyes

Above the sun, to the East, I watched the hovering stars

And I heard the hymn of peace.

Now freed from my prison, I miss already

The whole-grain bread and the weary sleepless nights.


The Collected Poetry

By Leopold Sedar Senghor


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