Chad: The Cry of the Bird | Nimrod Bena Djangrang

(for Daniel Bourdanné)

I wanted to be overcome with silence

I abandoned the woman I love

I closed myself to the bird of hope

That invited me to climb the branches

Of the tree, my double

I created havoc in the space of my garden

I opened up my lands

I found the air that circulates between the panes

Pleasant. I was happy

To be my life’s witch doctor

When the evening rolled out its ghosts

The bird in me awoke again

Its cry spread anguish

In the heart of my kingdom.

 

Nimrod Bena Djangrang was born in Koyom, in the south of Chad in 1950. Originally a teacher of French, history, geography and philosophy in Chad and the Ivory Coast, Nimrod has published poems and short stories in various periodicals such as CargoMâche-Laurier and Revue Noire.
Translations from French into English by Patrick Williamson

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

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