Printer Friendly



 It's the long road to Guinea
 Death takes you down
 Here are the boughs, the trees, the forest
 Listen to the sound of the wind in its long hair
 of eternal night

 It's the long road to Guinea
 Where your fathers await you without impatience
 Along the way, they talk
 They wait
 This is the hour when the streams rattle
 like beads of bone

 It's the long road to Guinea
 No bright welcome will be made for you
 In the dark land of dark men:
 Under a smoky sky pierced by the cry of birds
 Around the eye of the river
 the eyelashes of the trees open on decaying light
 There, there awaits you beside the water a quiet village,
 And the hut of your fathers, and the hard ancestral stone
 where your head will rest at last.


 C'est le lent chemin de Guinee
 La mort t'y conduira
 Voici les branchages, les arbres, la foret
 Ecoute le bruit du vent dans les longs cheveux
 d'eternelle nuit.

 C'est le lent chemin de Guinee
 Tes peres t'attendent sans impatience,
 Sur la route, ils palabrent
 Ils attendent
 Voici l'heure ou les ruisseaux grelottent
 comme des chapelets d'os.

 C'est le lent chemin de Guinee
 Il ne te sera pas fait de lumineux accueil
 Au noir pays des hommes noirs:
 Sous un ciel fumeux perce de cris d'oiseaux
 Autour de l'oeil du marigot
 les cils des arbres s'ecartent sur la clarte pourrissante
 La, t'attend au bord de l'eau un paisible village, et
 la case de tes peres, et la dure
 pierre familiale
 ou reposer ton front.

Roumain, Jacques, "Quand Bat le tam-tam" and "Guinee," Haiti Journal (4 July 1931; 30 Dec. 1931). Translation: "When the Tom-Tom Beats" and "Guinea," The Poetry of the Negro 364-66.
COPYRIGHT 2007 African American Review
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Roumain, Jacques
Publication:African American Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2007
Previous Article:When the Tom-Tom Beats .../Quand Bat le tam-tam ...
Next Article:"We, Too, Rise with You": Recovering Langston Hughes's African (Re)Turn 1954-1960 in An African Treasury, the Chicago Defender, and Black Orpheus.

Related Articles
Guinea: Conte retains power.
Different drummers.
Series of smaller events aim to bridge cultures.
Treasures from the archives: Guinea's favourite orchestra.
On the beat: arresting melodies.
When the Tom-Tom Beats .../Quand Bat le tam-tam ...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters