Thursday, August 11, 2011

Joal!

Leopald Senghor's house
“Joal”


I remember
Joal!
I remember signares in the green darkness of verandas,
Signares with eyes surreal as shafts of moonlight on the sand.
I recall the pageantry of sunsets,
Where Koumba N’Dofène would have cut his royal cloak.
I remember funeral feasts steaming with the blood of slaughtered herds,
The noise of quarrels, the griots' rhapsodies.
I remember pagan voices beating out the Tantum Ergo,
And the processions and the palms and the triumphal arches.
I recall the dancing of the nubile girls,
The battle songs—and oh! The final dance of the young men, chests slender,
Bent, and the women’s pure love cry
--Kor Siga!
I remember, I remember…
My head in motion with
What weary pace the length of European days where now and then
An orphan jazz appears sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.



--Translated from the French by Ellen Conroy Kennedy,
Published in The Negritude Poets, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1989.



"green darkness of verandas"

the lion's bedroom;)

baobab tree in the back yard

the president and me- AKA Joal

Senegel Flag
Senegalese national flag
this star later inspired him to put star on the national flag!

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