Passion de La Pensée by Salma Khalil Alio

a nutshell: in the writer’s own words, this is a melting pot (un creuset) of diverse poems that embrace romanticism, tenderness & disappointment

a line: “Aux parents rescapés de cet atterrissage | Au fruit de l’arbre généalogique qui naissaient | Des noyaux d’amour mornes qui connaissaient | L’armure fortifiante de la puissance | Celle dont on surnommait valeur de connaissance” [‘Négritude d’Afrique’]*

an image: there are many pastoral scenes across this collection – in ‘Nature, toi ma passion’ the poet portrays herself as isolated in a nest of purity, soaking up the beauty of the landscape and watching innocent wild geese, then as soon as twilight takes her into its embrace, she slips off her shoes

a thought: as this collection was in French I developed a document in which I translated extensive extracts incl. Alio’s fascinating biography & preface – hugely enjoyed working my way through the poems, which metamorphose from short, light-hearted anecdotes (such as forgetting Valentine’s Day!) to longer, more serious verses about her homeland

a fact: Alio is also the founder of the Positive, an association aiming to support Chadian women artists in any medium by promoting their art as a means of economic empowerment – learn more

want to read Passion de la Pensée? visit here

* I have my own personal translation of these lines but am wary of sharing it in case I have misinterpreted the meaning at all – I’m very much an amateur at literary translation! If you read French, I’d love to hear how you translate these lines 🙂

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