Analysis of ''Black Woman'' L.S Senghor

Black Woman

Naked woman, black woman

Clothed with your colour which is life,
with your form which is beauty!

In your shadow I have grown up; the
gentleness of your hands was laid over my eyes.

And now, high up on the sun-baked

pass, at the heart of summer, at the heart of noon,
I come upon you, my Promised Land,
And your beauty strikes me to the heart
like the flash of an eagle.

Naked woman, dark woman

Firm-fleshed ripe fruit, sombre raptures
of black wine, mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons,
savannah shuddering beneath the East Wind's
eager caresses

Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering
under the Conqueror's fingers

Your solemn contralto voice is the
spiritual song of the Beloved.

Naked woman, dark woman

Oil that no breath ruffles, calm oil on the
athlete's flanks, on the flanks of the Princes of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the
night of your skin

Delights of the mind, the glinting of red
gold against your watered skin

Under the shadow of your hair, my care
is lightened by the neighbouring suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman,
I sing your beauty that passes, the form
that I fix in the Eternal,


Before jealous fate turn you to ashes to
feed the roots of life





    Poets Biography:L.S Senghor was born in 1906 in Joal,Senegal. He attended his schools in Senegal and France. He was the first West African to finish from the  Sorbonne and teach in a French University. In 1960 he became the President of Senegal. He championed the negritude movement in African literature and was in the forefront of the cultural and political development. He retired from active politics in 1960



 Black woman'' by L.S Senghor is a poem is a negritude poem,in this poem,Senghor represents his love for Africa,his home,his mother country by personifying Africa as every woman he loves.The poet adores and celebrate the african woman because of her colour and her ability to give and sustain life.

  ''Naked woman,black woman
   Clothed with your colour which is life.....''

The poet has total confidence in the black woman's ability to fee and nourish life.

      In the second stanza, the poet  uses metaphor  to praise and extol the object of his admiration. The words ''black, dark and naked'' that are often used negatively are imbued with attraction and employed as terms of praise.The use of metaphor dominates the poem in lines 4,7,8,9,12 and 13. Landscape images, natural fruits and wonderful objects are used in their prefect the black woman.The African woman Senghor talks about is a representation of the African race itself. Senghor equates Africa to a mother in lines 4 and 5,he says he grew up under the protection of his mother.
      
 The third stanza continuesthemes with using the perfect things of nature to sing praises of the African woman. She is liken to oil that heals,a gazelle made in heaven while her skin is described as pearls and glinting red gold,her hair and her eyes are given the power to set free poet from cares.

  In the last stanza,the poet takes the praise higher,he talks on the beauty of the african woman before the white's man invasion,its toll on her and African  is said to surpass the perfection in the spiritual.Senghor concludes philosophically that he is perpetuating her transient beauty permanently in his poetry.


Themes
1. the beauty of African woman
2.love 
3.the pride and joy of black skin
 4.the theme of beauty



Black Woman

Naked woman, black woman

Clothed with your colour which is life,
with your form which is beauty!

In your shadow I have grown up; the
gentleness of your hands was laid over my eyes.

And now, high up on the sun-baked

pass, at the heart of summer, at the heart of noon,
I come upon you, my Promised Land,
And your beauty strikes me to the heart
like the flash of an eagle.

Naked woman, dark woman

Firm-fleshed ripe fruit, sombre raptures
of black wine, mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons,
savannah shuddering beneath the East Wind's
eager caresses

Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering
under the Conqueror's fingers

Your solemn contralto voice is the
spiritual song of the Beloved.

Naked woman, dark woman

Oil that no breath ruffles, calm oil on the
athlete's flanks, on the flanks of the Princes of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the
night of your skin

Delights of the mind, the glinting of red
gold against your watered skin

Under the shadow of your hair, my care
is lightened by the neighbouring suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman,
I sing your beauty that passes, the form
that I fix in the Eternal,


Before jealous fate turn you to ashes to
feed the roots of life





    Poets Biography:L.S Senghor was born in 1906 in Joal,Senegal. He attended his schools in Senegal and France. He was the first West African to finish from the  Sorbonne and teach in a French University. In 1960 he became the President of Senegal. He championed the negritude movement in African literature and was in the forefront of the cultural and political development. He retired from active politics in 1960



 Black woman'' by L.S Senghor is a poem is a negritude poem,in this poem,Senghor represents his love for Africa,his home,his mother country by personifying Africa as every woman he loves.The poet adores and celebrate the african woman because of her colour and her ability to give and sustain life.

  ''Naked woman,black woman
   Clothed with your colour which is life.....''

The poet has total confidence in the black woman's ability to fee and nourish life.

      In the second stanza, the poet  uses metaphor  to praise and extol the object of his admiration. The words ''black, dark and naked'' that are often used negatively are imbued with attraction and employed as terms of praise.The use of metaphor dominates the poem in lines 4,7,8,9,12 and 13. Landscape images, natural fruits and wonderful objects are used in their prefect the black woman.The African woman Senghor talks about is a representation of the African race itself. Senghor equates Africa to a mother in lines 4 and 5,he says he grew up under the protection of his mother.
      
 The third stanza continuesthemes with using the perfect things of nature to sing praises of the African woman. She is liken to oil that heals,a gazelle made in heaven while her skin is described as pearls and glinting red gold,her hair and her eyes are given the power to set free poet from cares.

  In the last stanza,the poet takes the praise higher,he talks on the beauty of the african woman before the white's man invasion,its toll on her and African  is said to surpass the perfection in the spiritual.Senghor concludes philosophically that he is perpetuating her transient beauty permanently in his poetry.


Themes
1. the beauty of African woman
2.love 
3.the pride and joy of black skin
 4.the theme of beauty



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