The words of others

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Tomorrow we will be wise
You believe me, don’t you? Tomorrow
We will have a brand-new
destiny at the heart of a voyage
Tchicaya U Tam’si
Le mauvais sang
(1955, republished L’Harmattan 1998)

The poem is aesthetic and rhythm, painting and music. Without stating, it suggests, and conveys an emotion better than pages full of prose could. It captures life and inscribes it in that of the whole planet. It restores humanity. Its strength of memory awakens the intimate, pain, lost loves, the native country and exile. But if devoted to grieving, it is so to enable rebirth. It believes that the destiny will be new, and that the journey is worthwhile. Marrying dream, wisdom, and criticism, it is a wise teacher who instructs without boring. It is an arm loaded with future. (1)

African poet friends
You surmount
through the cry of the incensed,
the eternal cry of indignation
which releases from melancholy, (2)
and I learn
in reading you
You seize
reality’s disenchantment
and I understand
in reading you
the depths of man
neither good nor bad
simply man
Your formal ruptures
become resistance
appropriation of language
for an autonomous song
In reading you
I am at a good school
For this world evokes something else
which takes Africa into account
In reading you
I learn the human
the incertitude and the hope
of a world where

After the red man,
after the yellow man,
after the black man,
after the white man,
is already the bronze man
the only cool alloy
already negotiable but by ford (3)
In reading you
I can say to myself

We will return
To join forces with the anonymous
Man (4)
Thanks to you
Africa flows between my lashes
As in its daily bed. (5)
And I catch sight of

The sea, blue tongue beneath the palate of the sky. (5)
For poetry is always vast
whatever the language it expresses
itself in (6)
I can thus return

From this long cavalcade
From this unending exile
To the deepest depths of myself (7)
You are the rampart
of a new humanism
neither fundamentalist
nor essentialist
To listen to you
Is to accept the preeminence of the word
that Fertile Word (8)
thus to choose hope
Forgive me these faltering words
I wanted
to share your momentums a moment
and to repeat as a last prayer

Poetry must not perish.
For then, where would the hope of the world be? (9)

///Article N° : 5419


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