Afrique / Africa by David Diop (1927-1960)

Claudia, from TBNY, blogged this beautiful and moving poem by David Diop. David Diop was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1927, to a Cameroonean mother and a Sengalese father. I liked the idea of showing both texts, side by side.


frique mon Afrique
Afrique des fiers guerriers dans les savanes ancestrales
Afrique que me chantait ma grand-mère
Au bord de son fleuve lointain
Je ne t’ai jamais connue
Mais mon regard est plein de ton sang
Ton beau sang noir à travers les champs répandu
Le sang de ta sueur
La sueur de ton travail
Le travail de l’esclavage
L’esclavage de tes enfants
Afrique dis-moi Afrique
Est-ce donc toi ce dos qui se courbe
Et se couche sous le poids de l’humilité
Ce dos tremblant à zébrures rouges
Qui dit oui au fouet sur les routes de midi
Alors gravement une voix me répondit
Fils impétueux cet arbre robuste et jeune
Cet arbre là -bas
Splendidement seul au milieu de fleurs blanches et fanées
C’est l’Afrique ton Afrique qui repousse
Qui repousse patiemment obstinément
Et dont les fruits ont peu à peu
L’amère saveur de la liberté.


frica my Africa
Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs
Africa of whom my grandmother sings
On the banks of the distant river
I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins
Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the fields
The blood of your sweat
The sweat of your work
The work of your slavery
Africa, tell me Africa
Is this your back that is unbent
This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation
This back trembling with red scars
And saying no to the whip under the midday sun
But a grave voice answers me
Impetuous child that tree, young and strong
That tree over there
Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers
That is your Africa springing up anew
Springing up patiently, obstinately
Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
The bitter taste of liberty.


117 thoughts on “Afrique / Africa by David Diop (1927-1960)

  1. this poem is so special to me because we learned it in my country senegal west africa when we were very young we were forced to memorize it untill it became part of our hearts and yet i never did understandtood it that well untill now. today i read this poem and tears just filled my eyes because this poem make me feel so close to my ancestors who suffered so much just because of the beauty of africa that showed in their skin.
    I’m so proud to be an african.

  2. Afrique suggests three main purposes including and undoubting sense of pride in African decent, the sorrowful acknowledgement of the suffering of a nation and the anticipation of imperceptible freedom.
    “Africa my Africa/Never have I known you/ but my glance is filled with your blood”

  3. i ve studied this poem in the african literature in english and i didnt felt concerned much with it as im from the south of morocco but when i read it in french i felt that the words have gone deeply in to my hearts especially when he talks about slavery but its the way he tried to look for a glance of hope that touched me much.

  4. This poem really taught me to love Africa the more. because hope is on ourside and we say a big thank u to David diop for a memmorabel poem he taught us.

  5. whenever i read this poem, i thank God 4 keeping me till now bcos i cant imagine what my dear Africans went through. I just feel sorrowful n tears fill my eyes.

  6. whenever i read this poem, i thank God 4 keeping me till now bcos i cant imagine what my dear Africans went through. I just feel sorrowful n tears fill my eyes. Africa my dearest Africa.

  7. This poem fills me with nostalgia, sorrow, regret, guilt and many other things that I am having a tough time expressing.
    Like Yacine, I grew up in Senegal and had to memorize “Afrique mon Afrique” without really understanding it fully. It’s only now that I have a deeper sense of what David Diop was trying to convey and my story, the story of a Senegalese who spent most of his life overseas, a Senegalese who has children who never went back to Africa, somewhat resembles that of David. How I wish my kids knew my country!

  8. Diop’s poems are all brilliant, but this one is particularly poignant. It’s actually amazing how prophetic this poem was, especially for its time. Diop is a really exceptional poet and this poem captures the essence of the reason why.

  9. I have spent some time first trying to remember the name of the poet and then the actual name of the poem. First introduced to this poem by my debate coach, the words of this poem have been emblazoned on myheart since then. It has been approximately thirteen years.Recently, I was reciting it while sitting at my desk and complaining that I could no think of the names of the piece or the poet. She promptly picked up her phone, called a friend of hers and in a matter of minutes, found it online and printed it out for me
    . I now pass it on to every young literary performer who needs a dynamic piece that will not only captivate the audience, but ensconce them in a bit of truth as well.

  10. I have just experienced the honor of reading David Diop’s poetry. I have always been interested in african history. How we were kings and queens of our beautiful country. But now riddled with humiliation of hunger and aids that the white society caused leaves me in awe and disbelief. But i do believe with knowlege and uniting our our strong black men and women we wll become Africa that was once known.

  11. I love this poem, I had to learn this poem in English when I was in school in Lagos but I never forgot it cos I rememmber how nostalgic it used to make all of us feel when we readit Now I live in London and I am trying to get my children to understand their roots and I have spent a long time looking for the words of this poem to teach them. Thank you Mr Diop so much for these beautifull words. I hope to make my children understand what it is to be african and continue to pray for our Arfican leaders to understand this poem and work to make our Africa glorious again

  12. Oh, I love this poem and it is part of my daily life. reading this poem persuaded me to become my own personal poet poet who writes about my mother land beautiful africa. Africa a land so beautiful with beautiful sculptures and cultures makes me want to read more about it. “AFrique mon Afrique” is truly one of the best poem i have read. i I remember reciting this poem when i was in the first grade in my country! oh Good ttimes!

  13. the first time i read this poem, i was in 4th grade. imemorized it, but didn’t understand it. a couple years later, it made some sense when read david diop’s bio. i moved to the usa at the age of 16 and and i have a son who has not been to africa yet;now the poem makes perfect sense. i’ve been reading it to my son hoping thatit helps him develop some sense of pride in his african (guinean)heritage.

  14. I am studying this poem and even though i am not african i admire and rejoice this poem, i have read the comments that said that this poem is much more powerfull in french than it is in english, i feel bad that i do not speak french becouse hhis would help me get the true meaning of the poem. In my High school i have to compare this peace with an art work or onather poem refering to the same theme, leopold seadar is a good example if any one is interested in reading it.

  15. Afrique mon Afrique est sans doute le poème le plus glamour écrit pour l’Afrique.Avec David Diop disparessait un des plus brillant poète Africain et surtout un humble fils de l’Afrique hélas trop tôt parti dands les méandres de la mort.

  16. Africa my Africa is the most glamour poem writes for Africa.Avec David Diop would die in the flower of age the poets more endowed with his generation and à humble soon of Africa.

  17. This poem is so powerful because it focuses on a new beginning for Africa, instead of an end. I am a French/Spanish teacher and today I will be reciting “Afrique mon Afrique” in front of all the teachers in my school. I hope that it will open eyes and help teachers develop this topic instead of brushing just the surface of it. Slavery is only a path to better enjoy the sweet and sour taste of Freedom. Thanks David Diop…

  18. I am African American and I pray to visit Mother Africa one day. Then I hope I will not only know how it feels to be an American, but also a little about how it truly feels to be “African.”

  19. this poem celebrates the beauty of Africa before slavery colonialism and the eventual neocolonialism which Africa has continued to suffer from in a most contempteous manner.I am reminded as an African that my great grand fathers were pruod warriors eventhough the Whiteman in his capitalist tendencies of massive acquisition of wealth has dealt a blow on our pride, economy and mentality.

  20. I don’t know where you got your information from but parts of the poem published here are incorrect.
    there’s a line missing, and some words might be off. I’m not yelling at you for this but I’d appreciate if you ensured that what you publish as another’s work you check more diligently.
    Other than that it is a wonderful poem that inspires me as an African to better represent myself outside my country and continent despite my youth and ignorance.

  21. I still remember this poem as if it was yesterday; I learned when i was in elementary school.Away from Home,where the sun shines every day, i still remember my beloved country, Togo sitting on the west Africa; I miss the land……………

  22. A poem wrritten in simple words with emotions,frustrations…nd all mended together!!!!!!!!Being an Indian and the stories heard frm my ancestors even we indians also sufferd a lot in the past….but now we r cemented with a force which no one can again let it loose!!!!!!As David proud to be an African under all stuggles..we too indian are proud to say so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thnas u David sir for letting me find out the proud i have in my blood to be an Indian!!!!!!!!!

  23. 😐 as i’ve read the peom….all they said are true……i really appriciate the contents of heart was touch about it… the ancestors really could save us and make this generation free and new…thanks to them and also the writer of this poem David Diop….who makes us realized how our ancestors love us very much… 😉

  24. reading this poem left a great impact on african but im not black.still i believe that im an african women i dont know why.reading this poem made me think about many things.why this world is full of people who are filling their heart of hate ,prejudice and racism.why are they spending their time hating others?why dont we see the positive aspects rather then the negative ones.blacks are like white in many things.blacks eat sleep and read.they play tennis football and online games…i have eyes and a black have also eyes .i have nose and black has also nose…..i dont know why white were busing blacks i dont know why?colour is nothing ,its doesnt mean anything to be black or white or…what it means most is what each person did and what they left behind them

  25. This is my assignment for my English 26, Afro-Asian Literature class. Literature is the best subject, for it makes a person humane by reading other people’s experiences, struggles and victories in life. For more than 300 years, the Philippines was colonized by Spain and like the Africans, Filipino people that time experienced how it is like to be a slave in their own country. But thanks to the Filipino and African Heroes, our generation is tasting how sweet it is to be free.

  26. Just like some previous commentators i also, growin up in Senegal memorized this poem at an early age. As a matter of fact it’s the same poem i recited during examination from primary to secondary school at the age of 11. But i honestly never really knew the meaning of it till now. Eventhough the translation isn’t a 100 percent accurate, i still give it up to y’all and David Diop. Arise Africa.

  27. This poem…..This poem…..This poem……U don’t know what it does to me, I read this poem in my secondary school days, with so much emotions. With so much pride in me and so much love in my bones. This is a poem that my kids must recite, a poem that must hang from the walls of my home. All hail David Diop! All hail Africa!! The land of my mothers! The land of ancestors!! The land of my bones!!!

  28. al vista nore gum. the is the best of all poems i have read. it touches my heart, soul and sprit to read it. it reassures me of my true self. thanx to u diop

  29. Diop’s Africa has haunted and invaded my mind for nearly two decades, when, as a teenage, I first glanced on, what has become for me over these years, the most melancholic, and yet, one of the most comforting poetic compositions. As has happened many a night before, I woke up tonight with Diop’s Africa in my head, and Africa’s melodies in my heart. So, even though I forage in a foreign land, fondling foreign ways, Africa will remain the beautiful land of my birth.

  30. Diop’s Africa has haunted and invaded my mind for nearly two decades, when, as a teenager, I first glanced on, what has become for me over these years, the most melancholic, and yet, one of the most comforting poetic compositions. As has happened many a night before, I woke up tonight with Diop’s Africa in my head, and Africa’s melodies in my heart. So, even though I forage in a foreign land, fondling foreign ways, Africa will remain the beautiful land of my birth.

  31. It’s impossible for a white person(unless she/he has been enslaved and deprived of her/his culture) to understand the African soul. Five years ago (in my seventies) I suddenly realised that black people are a lot more than Africans. Africa is a continent with 5 dinstinctive regions, 54 countries,900,000,000 people, 1,000 languages.You can correct the numbers. I know a little bit of Nelson Mandela and South Africa. What do I know of the rest of the continent. What do I know of the ravages of colonialism? Each African I meet has a country, a language, a culture,an individual soul, even if born in Canada. Do I wish to know the pain of their country then and now? Do I wish to know more than what I see. It’s hard to absorb unless we become friends and reach for each other’s differences. Unless I see more than a map, and the colour of a vast continent.
    I think it can be done only one by one, after establishing trust and willingness. With a sad regret that the colour of my skin works againts me.

  32. my college instructor told us to make an academic essay and the question is “interpret the way of life, cultures, aspirations of people from the literary piece that they produced and i choose David Diop with his poem “Africa”…this poem resembles great longing for independency and feedom…to be free of colonialism from different colonializers…this is an awesome piece by David Diop…

  33. how does “Qui dit oui au fouet sur les routes de midi” translate to “And saying no to the whip under the midday sun”? Literally, the no in the latter of the two should be yes and I see no other interpretation. Please explain…

  34. As a school boy in Cameroon, I had to memorize and recite David Diop’s poem in French. I love it so much. I think it is a masterpiece. The English translation you have is very misleading. The reader in English will not really grasp the beauty of this poem through your translation.

  35. During the selection of a poem to present at the international community of the International House in New York, USA, with over a hundred nationals; I explored the entire repertoire of rich African poetry and guess what? “Africa My Africa” clicked rightly as one of the most famous, in its rich blend of African history and cultural lines & stanzas. It is almost more descriptive of true Africa than any modern art can portray.

  36. Like many of you I was taught this poem as a schoolboy. Did I understand it then? yes only partially when the teacher told us the author’s personal tragic story. In my view this poem is one of the most important history lessons for those interested in Africa.

    The words and the symbolism in this poem are simple but very powerful at the same time. This poem is a childhood dream, that of the author who felt deeply African in his soul yet very distant as he “never knew Africa”. He never set foot on African soil, but he did know all about the humiliation” slavery, colonisation” suffered by Africa thanks to his grand mother. The title of the poem depicts a tie between a child and its mother” Afrique , mon Afrique” through the possessive pronoun. The Africa narrated to the author by his grand mother was a bliss of nature itself soiled by sufferings inflicted by others. This contrast of beauty and horror is everywhere in the poetry. The landscape of Africa made of rivers, savannah is none other than a kind of heavenly place, yet there is blood, and this blood is dark. A healthy blood is red, while a poisoned one is thick and dark ” ton beau sang noir” . The blood is described as beautiful but it is sadly dark. Yes Africa is the dark continent by the colour of its inhabitants but Diop finds it beautiful and it has been darkened by force labour under the whip. In its form this poem is about juxtaposing contrasting realities, in its first movement ” beau, fleuve lointain, savane ancestrale, travail de ta sueure, ” are the splendid side of Africa tarnished by sang noir, esclavage, dos courbe”.

    However the most important message of the poem is that Africa MUST break way from its apparent resignation to suffering. The tone here is high, it is grave ” alors gravement une voix me dit”. The voice referred to here is none other than his conscience that tells him to rebel against the acceptance of the whip ” le dos qui dit oui au fouet”. Yes Africa must push away ” repousse” vigourously with persistence despite the hurdles on the way to taste the flavour of freedom. Here again the apparent contradiction between “amere” sour and “saveure de liberte” re-enforces the conviction that nothing deer comes without its price, the struggle.

    For those who see this poem as a hope message , I say yes but it is more about breaking away from bondage. Remember this poem is a tribute to Africa and a negritude poem, it is an anthem of struggle by an African whose dream of seeing Africa with his own eyes never came true, but He never felt any less of an African.

    Today as an African who left the continent 15 years ago, I also dream of this idealistic Africa of green landscape, rivers and savannahs. My son has yet been to Africa but it my hope that he will cherish that part of him, even if he is half European. Nearly twenty thirty years on , I can now say ” Yes brother Diop, I feel the same as you did” but unlike him, I have been a bit luckier, I was born in Cote d’Ivoire.

    God bless Africans and their brothers from other parts of the World.

    Anzmana Diabate

  37. This poem is the dearest to my heart. It takes me back to high school in Africa/Guinea. I am so proud to be African, so proud of our humility and all I wish is to inject the entire continent with confident and positive energy. I wish one day I will be able to do so
    Best poem ever!

  38. I have also read this poem several times and considered it a passionate cry for recognition and freedom from alienation by the author who himself barely knew Africa. However there is another one which strikes me more as an attempt to freedom from alienation by another poet whose name I just can’t remember. The title of this poem is “Hoquets”. Can anyone out there refresh me on this? Thanks.

  39. I read David Diop’s poem about 25 years ago as a secodary school student in Cameroon. We were made to memorize both the English and the French version and I tell you it was great, although, I must confess, the total meaning of the poem was not completely evident to me.
    I don’t know what happenned but somehow, just yesterday, right here in the USA, I felt a longing passion to go back search out David Diop’s poem “AFrica”. I could still recite some parts of the poem (both the French and English version) but I needed to get it right again! Alas, as I searched the internet, I found this great work, where both versions have been placed side by side.
    God Bless you for this…I am going back to memorize and internalize this great master piece again…Sure it is gonna make me feel good and maybe start really reflecting on who am I…An African…Yes, A true African.
    God Bless Africa………

  40. I cannot believe that my Mother Elaine of blessed memory was a Thomas Hardy, Yates and John Pepper Clark addict yet I always hated literature. So much so, that I had to appeal to her NOT to study it at O’Levels and beyond. Until my 11 year old came home one day with this poem asking me about OXYMORONS, COUPLETS every other “poetic device” you can mention. I had to google this poem and even ask for the examples on the net just to help my precious baby pass his poetry exam at age 11! What a disgrace for me not to have known such a great poet and now today I came back for it to add to my Business Strategy Meeting Write up about my role in the African market and my recommendations for budget year 2009. I receited the end part of the poem and stated that “Africa had just burst its borders” on the economic, financial and technological scene. It was however to be a “bitter taste of liberty” as we must have the infrastructure and implementation skills to handle its “springing forth”. I must however thank you Madame la Blogger in Paris for this and hope that another poet of such depth can truly rise up out of the “banks of the distant river”

  41. Hi

    I am student from India. I started liking and respecting Africa after I read this poem. The poem seeks to both inspire and make me think. It’s amazing how much one poem can change one’s perspective.

  42. i really love this poem even though i admit i don’t understand some parts of it. . . . after i had read this poem i realized that people no matter if they are black or white deserved to gain respect from others. . . i don’t know why in the world there are people who spend their time criticizing other because of their faults and outside appearance instead of correcting or appreciating what is good in them. . . . David Diop only proves he’s not ashamed to be an African no matter what other tell him. .


  44. This poem is overflowing with nationalism and love for ones country. Just goes to show that nationalism still exists. Which makes me really happy, because nationalism is something every country needs. It’s like the key to success, because if you have this passion for your country you’d be willing to see it succeed and grow at any cost. Just like a hero. Being nationalistic is like being a hero. Which is exactly what David Diop is to Africa because of this poem. 😀

    Im not African or anything but this poem really inspires me to love my own country more. I remember reading this during english time. My teacher called me to read it in front, she told me to read the poem changing the words ‘Africa’ to ‘Philippines’, my country. Saying Philippines again and again made me proud. This poem is just really amazing. And im glad that we took this up during english time:D

  45. Well I dont know what to say about this poem!!! I was born in Senegal.Like what these people say they force me to memorize it until it become a part of me heart. I LOVE IT!!!

    Anyway if there is anyone who knows where to find the peom of the death of David Diop ( la mort de david diop) by his friend Birago Diop please let me know.
    My email is thank you!!!

  46. I also memorized this poem in primary school and I noticed the errors in the english translation above. I’ve posted a more accurate version.

    Africa, my Africa
    Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs
    Africa of whom my grandmother sings
    On the banks of the distant river
    I have never known you
    But your blood flows in my veins
    Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the fields
    The blood of your sweat
    The sweat of your work
    The work of your slavery
    The slavery of your children

    Africa, tell me Africa
    Is this you, this back that is bent
    This back that breaks
    Under the weight of humiliation
    This back trembling with red scars
    And saying yes to the whip under the midday sun
    But a grave voice answers me
    Impetuous child that tree, young and strong
    That tree over there
    Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers
    That is Africa your Africa springing up anew
    Springing up patiently, obstinately
    Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
    The bitter taste of liberty.

  47. it is great to see the right translation, I am currently studying the poem and after travelling to Africa to work in a orphanage in Tanzania i have learned so much about the african people and their culture. It is beautiful and my time in Africa has left a life long impression on my life!

  48. I love this poem so much that i can never forget it,each time i recite it on my own i shed tears and feel very close to the colonial era.This is the best poem ever written.Am glad and proud to be an African.The poem was not written well on this page.

  49. Africa by David Diop has been a part in my course outline for English II Afro-Asian Literature Subject for many years now.
    I agree to all the personal commentaries and analysis about it. Every time that I am going to prepare a lesson about it, I am filled with gladness because I will again have a moment with my students wherein I can tell them the beauty of Africa not only as a country but as special people of God. A moment wherein, I can teach them that being black is not a sin… Who makes it a sin are those who don’t appreciate the wonders of God’s creation. No color is superior than another! No one has the right to discriminate someone just because of the color of the skin… besides I firmly believe that the true God is a God of colors. He painted the world with different colors… black is definitely one.

  50. I just read the poem now, saw the mistake and was scrolling down to the comment end to correct it. But Chioma had already done that! Bravo. I love this poem. Diop inspires most of my poetry!

  51. learnig and analizing this poem make me realize how to value and appreciate my own ancestor who shed blood for students can’t understand the first time i introduce this piece of literature..well because of their ignorance..they are preoccupied with so many i wish they could better understand and share..

  52. I recited this poem many many times with my friend and brother Alex Nkosi when we were at school in Tanzania, and later at Mbapapi Private School hwere we took up our first jobs, teaching. Its significance was its power to envoke the Africaness in me, in us.

    Davie, Lilongwe Malawi

  53. i love this pOem….we tOo Filipino suffer from great deal of longing for freedom and independency… suffer from colonization of spaniards!! i can relate onto it… thaNkxx diop!

  54. the poem just came to mind this afternoon, could not remember all the wordings, so i just typed ‘africa my africa’ on google,lo and behold……… comes the poem i loved so much while in secondary school. god bless you for putting this poem on net.
    i am a proud african commitement is to africa and its soil.
    god bless africa
    god bless me

  55. I love this POEM…………in the 80’s I read it at a Literary and Debating Society’s outing………….It invoked a lot of applause…………..Its moving………but this encompasses all our struggle and the hate……..and our Black power triumph………Viva la’Africa……….

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  57. Someone has modified the translation of the 15th line to read ‘No’ to the whip. I solemnly agree. The whip may now represent corrupt leaders feeding fat on the wealth of the land, the whip may be the continued extraction and retraction of knowledge, the whip may be the instability that causes sorrow and disillusionment which continues the abeyance of development. Whatever the whip may be, our generation says ‘No!’.

    Merci bien.

  58. I have tears in my eyes. this poem tells our story now in a prophetic way. It is a manifestation of the pain of getting cut-off from our roots mainly for economic and political reasons. It makes me more than ever to believe that there is still hope that Africa can be at par with the rest of the world.keep your head up senegal, ghana, gambia. stand up AFRICA!

  59. When I read this poem, I want to have a David to tell the world about the blood in the streets of Tehran, we need a david who talks about our wealthy earth that in its heart is full of bodies that were killed for freedom , for their missing right . You , the world , must know that we IRANIANS will gift our blood till last drop untillreacchto our right .

  60. I so love this poem – in my secondary school in Nigeria, we (Literature class) were made to memorize it and give good analysis of it during tests and exams – I just cant forget it.
    Lovely poem it is.

  61. Memories is short but our people are still not writing down our history, visual object and artifact are among the gratest remains of history.
    David Diop this is one of the gratest poem i have even seen in my life Though you are not alive but your memories still linger, just like water you were and indespensable companion to Africa as a whole.
    in nigeria in my secondary school days one has to memorize this poem in a text or Exam to have complete (40) Marks . what a wonderful poem. david you are one in a million. as we await to see you in paradise when persecution, violence, racism, segregation, will be no more. we in nigeria love you.

  62. as a young as i am,tiz poem reminds me many things i am pround 2 be an African.the poet hav passed away but his spirit of poetry still leaves behind..i admire his work…mai ur soul rest in peace…

  63. We were required to memorise this great and african history remniscent poem among other poems when i were in secondary school in the late 80’s. Then it was one of the poem to be read in Literature-in-english as a subject. I didn’t really understand its content until when i entered university years later. it was then i really took so much interest in literature and particularly poems relating to African history. It was indeed a great poem that is heart touching. kudos to David Diop for this great poem. It will forever continue to remind one of African history and persecution.

  64. On April 8th 2010 (Incha Allah), I will have the great privilege and honor to read this masterpieace poem “Afrique Mon Afrique” during the Multilingual Poetry Night at Brooks Center, Clemson University (South Carolina). A way to pay tribute to David Diop because I have chosen him among many other poets. Glod bless you Diop, we are proud of you!

  65. Lovely poem.

    Hope our African leaders would make reference to this great work and stop enslaving us the more.

  66. I have read this wonderfull poem written by the wonderfull French author. i really love the poem’s setting and its plot. I am very proud to see of my comrades in success.
    thank you!
    Mercy bien, j’aime l’Afrique.

  67. I have read this wonderfull poem written by the wonderfull French author. i really love the poem’s setting and its plot. I am very proud to see my comrades in success.
    thank you!
    Mercy bien, j’aime l’Afrique.

  68. Africa, my Africa. oh Africa, how much we have grown, A nation that once trembled in fear is now standing tall and a plyer among nations…Africa, my Africa, the world is now coming to see you. Africa, they call it the motherland for it is were it all began!!! I really LOVE THIS POEM, HAD TO LEARN IT IN GRADE 9 FOR OUR ENGLISH POETRY CLASS, DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY AT THE TIME, BUT TODAY, AS I RECITE IT; MY HEART JUST FILLS UP WITH SUCH WARMTH AND JOY…Africa is rising up and yes, oh yes the Lord is by her side.

  69. Pingback: The World Cup of Nations 2010 and African Unity in South Africa and Around the World « Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s International Blog on Poetry for Peace

  70. It is a shame that it took me almost 35 years to grasp the deep meaning of this wonderful poem: who to blame? myself or the “african” school system where students happily memorise things and repeat to pass exams. There was never a chance to intellectually process, think thru and digest what is being taught. What a shame!

  71. Great! I’m posting this to my facebook page. Funny that a lot of people, Africans don’t even know the poem exists…

  72. in fact, this is a poem expressing one’s feeling he has about his routes. Despite the fact that the poet was born in France did not make him claim he was a French. the poem serves as an advice to those who live the shores of Africa and totally forget about their motherland. No matter what a pig is dressed will still remain a pig. A dressed monkey will still remain a monkey. Take caution from the poet and be African.

  73. Probably, most of us Africa especially West Africa will appreciate the poetic picture of David Diop. I came to support my liking for this poem with my love when i got job and most times during my break time, i tend to remember most of the poems i studied while in a tutorial school in Lagos, Nigeria.
    The poem reminds me of the precolonial era, slave trade and the ever rich and blessed land and vegetations of Africa.I also remember it mostly, each time i travel to my country side and while in moving vehicles you see men, women and children farming on farms. Indeed, Africa is too rich. When i remember these poems and see what is going on today in Nigeria especially in the Niger-Delta area where oil spilleage and environmental pollution of over two decades have destroyed i cry for my country.

  74. I was amazed when I read this poem! such a splendid idea of a great author! here in Philippines, many want to use different whitening products just to escape from the reality of what color of skin they have! But I am appreciating Diop for his dedication and love for Africa! we also suffered from the colonization of other countries but just like Africa…great heroes came to existence to fight for our freedom! I chose this poem to be my literary piece—-to submit in our Afro-Asian Literature subject, we are tasked to look for its strengths and weaknesses but I could hardy find any weakness because of the fact that it is a magnificent masterpiece!

  75. I’m an Indian & I rly love dis poem. One of the best poems, I’ve ever read. A poem with simple diction & great messages. Viva Africa , viva David Diop

  76. i like this poem , even though i’m not an african ..
    believe it or not , this poem is also included to our lesson in english subject here in the philippines .. and also david diop .. long live all africans ! {n.n}

  77. I can’t believe I am reading this kind of poem which has touch my heart deeply with this Afro-Asian Literature. Now I am studying the parts of each stanza of the poem in order to know what the author used. This is making sense to me more deeply as anyone can’t imagine.

  78. This is a great masterpiece by Diop. It has opened my eyes and made me see the beuty of my Africa. The initial lines evokes nostalagia in me. I feel proud to be an African!

  79. Reading this poem now makes me feel nostalgic because it reminds of my days in junior school about 23 years ago when we had to memorize the poem. My face is covered with tears and my nose has been running ever since i re-read the poem. God bless David Diop. I only hope the founding fathers of each country that constitute Africa can look back with pride what Africa has turned to viz-a-viz their own labour,ideals and sacrifices. The current leaders now have greed, hate, corruption and all evils flowing in their veins. But just like Diop said, we are waiting patiently as the fruit acquire the bitter taste of liberty. God bless Africa, the land of my birth.

  80. This poem is very touching. The author really showed his compassionate love to his own country though his not born in Africa but I can feel this through his words of wisdom..I am very glad to study this poem of David Diop. I am also grateful for having this Afro-Asian Literature..Though I’m not an African, but I feel their needs for freedom and liberty!!!

  81. I proud to be an African “This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation”
    ‘And saying no to the whip under the midday sun’
    “Impetuous child that tree, young and strong
    That tree over there
    Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers
    That is your Africa springing up anew
    Springing up patiently, obstinately
    Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
    The bitter taste of liberty”.

  82. Africa! This is my favorite poem. I learnt it at the age of 6 and now 20 years later,its still fresh. This is a poem of hope for Africa! No matter the cost,always stay strong enough to fight for your freedom. Peace!

  83. I read another version of this poem. the idea it communicates is just the opposite.
    eg;- instead of
    Is this your back that is unbent
    This back that never breaks under the
    Is this your back that is bent
    This back that breaks under the
    there are somany such differences in the poem.
    pls clarify ur translation
    this is published in a book called

  84. What more can I say? David’s poem remains a masterpiece. 30 years after I read it as a student of Literature. Our prayer is that our leaders in Africa, will allow the hope of this great poet for our continent, to be realised. VIVE L’AFRIQUE!!!!

  85. I am very interested in the way you wrote the poem “Africa”. It makes me want to know the place better. I love your artistry. The way you described the different happenings in Africa are very realistic. More power and God bless.

  86. Wow! This is awesome, I have never read a poem that touches my hart like this one. Its really touches hart especially were he says “I have never known you but your blood flows in my vein”I am a student of Federal Collage of Education zaria in Nigeria, Department of Languages. The first time my lecturer introduces this poem to us I was like aaah! What am I going to know about Africa again?, but when I start reading it my eyes fills with tears and I now feels the same pain that David Diop feel when he is writing this poem. I promise to help in building my father land Africa and am proud to be African!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. I am a Filipino and I admire Africans because despite of the bitterness they experience until today and even though they were made as a slave by those colonizers, they were still humble. And Africans must be proud of what they are though their colors are black because they are unique plus they got that rich country and their culture… I wish that the also achieve the liberty, peace and live without racial discrimination in the world like Filipinos so that they could enjoy the life that no one maltreated them and descriminate them and so that they could feel the beaty and presence of their beautiful country “Africa”

  88. I like and know very much David Diop’s poetry in my central-European country,Poland.The hopefull David dies together with his lovely wife near Dakar,Senegal when the French airliner crashed into the sea…I remember this event,and from time to time I read David Diop’s poems for my Polish family and my personal friends.

  89. the african poet dis is so amazed … because even dey work under the medday sun they still work …and they proud to their black blood ,…and also the author proud for their african people…

  90. David Diop’s Africa is so captivating, esspecially to an African scholar. It takes one back to the days of his ancestors to imagin the difficulty involved in existing under a colonial rule and humiliation. I started reading this poem in my secondary level but could not understand its powerful message, nor its captivating elements until now as an undergraduate.

  91. I bless the name of God anytime i read this poem because i can’t just imagine what our parents went through during the time of colonization..hmmm i pray this africa will be a better home tommrow.I LUV MY COUNTRY,I LUV NIGERIA.

  92. Pingback: The Life of a Lost Son… | Once Upon A Life

  93. his poem shows the deep feelings he had for Africa. I’m actually studying him as a revolutionary poet. I know my feelings for Africa will definitely deepen by the end of my study.

  94. Kachikwu Kenneth Chinedu( DCN)
    — Febuary7, 2012 @7:30pm
    I feel great, so proud to be planted by the Almighty God in the soil of one of the greatest continents in the world – AFRICA. The author David Diop painted a picture of hope- no matter the problem we are faced as a people, there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, he died young, unfulfilled, most of his literary prowess and potentials died with him. What about you that is reading this note, don’t allow your gifts that will bless the world to die with you. Every human carries one form of blessings or the other but most of them enriched the graveyards and rob the world their gifts.

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