Kama Sywor KAMANDA
Chants de Brumes
I hold the power of immortal languages
living in the filigree of forbidden dreams.
To you I bring, priests of Amon,
The blood of our rebirth.
Memory of Egypt lives in my Bantu soul.
O Time, your vestiges sweep along my myths!
Revelations become sanctifying pacts
And words the imprints of the gods.
O, limpidity of death
A wayward wind in eternity’s roots!
Space leads my antiquities
Toward the Nile’s far-off banks.
My ancestors’ path becomes my mirror.
My body, raging through the centuries,
Throbs like sacred springs
And the breath of days promised to mankind.
Kama Sywor KAMANDA was born in Luebo, Congo in 1952. State diploma in literary humanities, 1968; degree in journalism, Journalism Sch., Kinshasa, Congo, 1969; degree in polit. scs., U. Kinshasa, Congo, 1973; L. philosophy and humanities (honors), U. Kinshasa, Congo, 1975; HD, U. Liège, 1981. This writer's poetry, novels and folk-tales illustrate the dual influences of Ancient Egypt, his Ancestors' Land, and of his rich Bantu ancestry. Ten collections of poetry, in which the celebration of Africa and the anguish of exile and solitude are recurring themes, have earned international recognition. Kamanda's work has been widely translated and appears in international literary journals. He has won numerous literary awards.
Kama Sywor KAMANDA, Congo (Published in Issue 18)
Chants de Brumes
Your language calls up the wind,
In grotesque consciousness,
Light magic from afar
In every eye.
And our trances, put to the test,
Scan humanity’s vast entrails.
Dawn breathes without exile,
And our stumbling steps
On the sands of return,
Link our dreams
To fragments of history.
Osiris, bloodied by our cowardice,
Licks the flames
And our souls’ wounds.
And yet, woman,
With infinity’s words,
Holds high her faith
To chronicle our failings.
O sea, your tide goes out
Carrying off our fears,
Our anguish and uncertainties,
And invites us to return
To our lands of origin.
You can find out more about Kama Sywor Kamanda's poetry in our interview section.