Bernard Binlin Dadié, Man of Letters

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Hommes de tous les continents/people of all the continents

“Hommes de Tous les Continents” lu en française pars Leonie Jacque Dindji dans Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
“Hommes de Tous les Continents” lu en française pars Cisse Binnie Bintou dans Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
“Hommes de Tous les Continents” lu en française pars Guy Gnobo dans Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
"People of All the Continents" by Bernard B. Dadie, Hommes de Tous Les Continents, page 19
Translation by Margaret E. Wright-Cleveland, 2016
For Pierre Seghers


I come out of the nights splattered in blood!

Watch my back
Labor for the hunger and thirst
I was arable soil
See my calloused hand,
Black
By the strength of the world’s kneading.
My eyes bright with the passion of love.
I was there when a guardian expelled the ancestor,
I was there when waters ate the mountains
There again, when Jesus reconciled the sky and the earth,
Always there, when he smiled over the top of the ravines
We will bind/knit the same destiny.
People of all the continents
The bullets pollard the roses
in the hands of dreams.
Out of the night or artificial smoke
I would like you to sing
You who carry the sky in outstretched arms
We
who try to find ourselves in the false day of street lights.
I, myself, also know
The cold in the bone, and the hunger of belly,
Awakening to the rattling of the rifles
But always a star twinkling in the eyes
The evenings of fire, in the giddiness of gunpowder.
People of all the continents
Carrying the sky in outstretched arms
You who like to hear the laughter of the woman,
You who like to watch the child play,
You who like to give the hand
to form the chain,
The bullets will once again pollard roses
In the mornings of dreams.

© 2020 Bernard Binlin Dadié, Man of Letters

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