FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Malagasy poet Rabearivelo's "Lunar Images" from 'Almost Dreams' (Saiky-Nofy)

Poem of the week from Malagasy poet Rabearivelo's "Lunar Images" from 'Almost Dreams' (Saiky-Nofy)

Lunar Images (Sarisarim-Bolona)

Moonlight, moonlight--what then?

Do not drink too much of the milk that drips
from the teats of this savage one-eyed dog
baying into the wild lands of the sky
as though to summon from within the desert of the night
its countless offspring
opening their eyes: myriads of stars

Moonlight, moonlight--what then?

The wind itself is milky,
which shakes the sculpted shadows
on the earth
and multiplies the number of visible
souls of all things
that seem to flee the baying--silent
but resounding everywhere

Moonlight, moonlight--what then?

Do you see those gentle birds
that grow within the spectral landscape?
They feed on shadow,
they peck at night.
What will they fill their crops
when the stalks of rice and corn
carried off by the cocks
become songs in them?

Moonlight, moonlight--what then?

I am no longer young enough
to seek a lunar sister outside
after the games of little girls:
I will hold my children on my lap until they fall asleep,
and there are many books to be read with my wife
until the moon changes
and becomes itself for us
while waiting for the dawn
that will overtake us on the shores of sleep.

Other Madagascar Posts:
"Fruits" from Rabearivelo's Almost-Dreams
"9" from Rabearivelo's From the Night
"51" from Rabearivelo's Old Songs From Imerina Lands
"Zebu"from Rabearivelo's Almost Dreams
Peace Corps Vignette on Mango Season in Madagascar
Business Case Study on Mango Production in Madagascar

African Poets of the Week Compilation

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