- I grew up in your shadow; the softness of your hands bandaged my eyes.
And now, in the middle of the summer and midday,
I discover you, Promised Land, from the top of a high burnt collar.
And your beauty strikes me in the heart, like the flash of an eagle.
- Naked woman, obscure woman.
Ripe fruit with firm flesh, dark ecstasy of black wine, mouth that do lyrical my mouth.
Savannah with pure horizons, savannah that shivers with the fervent caresses of the East Wind.
- Carved tamtam, taut tom-tom that roars under the fingers of the victor.
Your deep contralto voice is the spiritual song of the Aimee.
Black woman, dark woman.
Oil that no wrinkles blow, oil calm on the flanks of the athlete, on the flanks of the princes of Mali.
- Gazelle with celestial ties, pearls are the stars on the night of your skin.
Delights of the games of the Spirit, the reflections of gold gnaw your skin that is moire.
In the shade of your hair, my anguish lights up the next suns of your eyes.
- Naked woman, black woman
I sing your passing beauty, a form I fix in the Lord.
Before jealous destiny will reduce you to ashes to nourish the roots of life. (1)
Leopold Sedar Senghor (Songs of Shadows, 1945).