A Country of Light, Senegal

"I will pronounce your name, Naett, I will declaim you, Naett!
Naett, your name is mild like cinnamon, it is the fragrance in which the lemon grove sleeps
Naett, your name is the sugared clarity of blooming coffee trees
And it resembles the savannah, that blossoms forth under the masculine ardour of the midday sun
Name of dew, fresher than shadows of tamarind,
Fresher even than the short dusk, when the heat of the day is silenced,
Naett, that is the dry tornado, the hard clap of lightning
Naett, coin of gold, shining coal, you my night, my sun!…
I am your hero, and now I have become your sorcerer, in order to pronounce your names.
Princess of Elissa, banished from Futa on the fateful day."

Leopold Sedar Senghor

 

Leopold Sedar Senghor is one of the greatest francophone African poets. He was born in Senegal, in 1906, and schooled both in Dakar and in Paris, France.

In this poem - I will pronounce your name -  Naett is believed to represent Africa and the poem to be an ode to his beloved continent.