Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Flavien Ranaivo, "Song of a Common Lover"

Don't love me, my sweet,
like your shadow
for shadows fade at evening
and I want to keep you
right up at cockcrow;
nor like pepper
which makes the belly hot
for then I couldn't take you
when I'm hungry;
nor like a pillow
for we'd be together in the hours of sleep
but scarcely meet by day;
nor like rice
for once swallowed you think no more of it;
nor like soft speeches
for they quickly vanish;
nor like honey,
sweet indeed but too common.
Love me like a beautiful dream,
your life in the night,
my hope in the day;
like a piece of money,
ever with me on earth,
and for the great journey
a grateful comrade;
like a calabash,
intact, for drawing water;
in pieces, bridges for my guitar.



Tonight I asked my roomate if she knew any poems about Egypt, and she threw a Modern Poetry from Africa anthology in my direction. I picked this poem, because it was the first one I picked from the table of contents, because of its intriguing & amusing title - a lover who's average, or a lover who's held in common? Anyway, it turned out to be pretty decent (though also entertainingly indecent - though I wonder what of the double entendres exists in the original French) so I figured I would include it, since I don't know that many poems that feature Egypt, and unfortunately don't have quite the time or resources to be looking them up at the moment. Technically, I failed anyway - Ranaivo is from Madagascar. Oh well.


sahadeva said...

Dude, this is an excellent poem. Simple, straightforward, but clever in its aim.

Thanks for posting all these poems!

Nyabuogi said...

Fantastic poem here good in teaching tone, attitude,and mood in high school