Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Poem from Senegal

I'm feeling sleepy and lazy tonight, so I'm going to grace my blog with this beautiful poem by a Senagalese poet called Annette M'Baye d'Erneville. The poem is called Requiem.


To Adrienne d'Erneville who did not return

Your final bed was not adorned with roses
Your shroud was neither white silk nor maternal cloth
No perfumed water bathed your body
And your tresses were not arranged with a comb of gold.
You spoke your fear of the giant bird!
You believed the fork tongue and evil eye!
Who could have thought, seeing you so beautiful,
That you were dressing for Lady Death?
Embrace of the night? Kiss of the early morning?
The sand of the desert has cast your curves
And burned them to a powder.

Just so you know, I did try to find an online biography or information about the poet, or links to more of her poems, but I didn't have any luck. If anyone has any leads, please comment and let me know.


Stefanie said...

Don't know anything about the poet but the poem is beautiful!


In fact her actual name is : Annette Mbaye d’Erneville (Sokone, 1926) is a Senegalese writer. She is Ousmane William Mbaye's mother, a famous filmmaker.
She writes specially children's literature and poetry and is associated to Musée de la Femme Henriette Bathily in Gorée.
Her publication include

frican poems. Dakar: French National Centre for Art, 1965, 20p. Poetry

Kaddu. Dakar: A. Diop, Dakar 1965: NEA, 1966, 29 p. (New edition of African Poems under a new name).

Songs for Laity. Dakar: African News Publishing, 1976.

The Christmas of the old hunter. Dakar: African News Publishing, 1983.

The ring of copper and silver. Dakar: African News Publishing, 1983. (New Contest winning Jeune Afrique in 1961)

Clod and lump of butter. Dakar: NEAS Coll. Mbotté 2003,

Picc Bird and Lepp-Lepp butterfly. Dakar: NEAS Coll. Mbotté 2003,