Daniel Zopoula

The Digital Musings of a Bushman, Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor.

A ma mère/ To my mother

Mom, I have no other words to celebrate your life and your significant investment in my life but the words of Camara Laye to his mother, which have become my very own, to you. Sorry I was not really all there that day when, unto the ground, you were entrusted and we wept over your remains. Sorry I was not man enough to say a tribute, and i was not lettered in the art to read you a poem. It was such a tragic day, but I knew you were there, over the rainbows, way up high, in a land that I heard of, Once in the lullaby you once sang to me.  And, mom, did you know that the dreams that you dared to dream for me really did come true? I know how proud you are, of me. – So, unto you, this humble tribute:

A ma mère/ To my mother

Femme noire, femme africaine, ô toi ma mère je pense à toi…

Ô Dâman, ô ma mère, toi qui me
portas sur le dos, toi qui m’allaitas,
toi qui gouvernas mes premiers pas,
toi qui la première m’ouvris les yeux
aux prodiges de la terre, je pense à toi…

Femme des champs, femme des rivières, femme du grand fleuve,
ô toi, ma mère, je pense à toi…

Ô toi Dâman, ô ma mère, toi qui
essuyais mes larmes, toi qui me
réjouissais le coeur, toi qui,
patiemment supportais mes caprices,
comme j’aimerais encore être près de toi, être enfant près de toi…

Ô Dâman, Dâman de la grande
famille des forgerons, ma pensée
toujours se tourne vers toi, la tienne
à chaque pas m’accompagne, ô
Dâman, ma mère, comme j’aimerais
encore être dans ta chaleur, être
enfant près de toi…

Femme noire, femme africaine, ô
toi, ma mère, merci ; merci pour tout
ce que tu fis pour moi, ton fils, si
loin, si près de toi !

Camara LAYE

(an English translation by Deborah Weagel, University of New Mexico)

Black woman, African woman, O mother, I think of you …
O Dâman, O mother,
who carried me on your back, who nursed me,
who governed by first steps,
who opened my eyes to the beauties of the world, I think of you …

Woman of the fields, woman of the rivers, woman of the great river, O
mother, I think of you …

O Dâman, O mother, who wiped my tears,
who cheered up my heart,
who patiently dealt with my caprices,
how I would love to still be near you.

Simple woman, woman of resignation, O mother, I think of you.
O Dâman, Dâman of the great family of blacksmiths, my thoughts are
always of you, they accompany me with every step,
O Dâman, my mother, how I would love to still feel your warmth,
to be your child that is close to you …
Black woman, African woman, O mother, thank you; thank you for all
that you have done for me, your son, so far away yet so close to you!

Camara LAYE

<br>http://lyrics.stlyrics.com/lyrscroll.swf?page=http%3A//www%2Estlyrics%2Ecom/lyrics/thewizardofoz/somewhereovertherainbow%2Ehtm<br><a href=”http://www.stlyrics.com” target=”_blank”>Lyrics</a> | <a href=http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/thewizardofoz/somewhereovertherainbow.htm target=_blank>Judy Garland – SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW lyrics</a>


  1. kasuka mbangu

    May 14, 2013 at 5:11 am

    J’aime camara laye

  2. I learnt about this poeme 17 years ago when I was in Congo. I searched for it in English and found and read it to my daughter and she loved it. So nice

  3. j’aime beacoup cette poeme. que Dieu bennisse Camara

  4. when was the poem inveted, and who wrote the poem?

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