Cesaire's New Kindness

Hope you are enjoying the nice Fall weather, (or brilliant sunshiny days if you are in the Caribbean). As September winds down, I am sharing another Cesaire poem, New Kindness, or Nouvelle Bonte for my francophone friends. Enjoy!

New Kindness

to deliver the world to the assassins of dawn is out of the question
those who slap dusk in the face
roads hang from their flayer necks
like shoes too new
we're not dealing with a rout
only the traps have been whisked away during the night
as for the rest
horses that have left nothing more in the ground
than their furious hoofprints
muzzles aimed with lapped-up blood
the unsheathing of the knives of justice
and of the inspired horns
of vampire birds their entire beaks lit up
defying appearances
but also breasts nursing rivers
and sweet calabashes in the hollows of offering hands
a new kindness is ceaselessly growing on the horizon.

Aime Cesaire. From Lyric and Dramatic Poetry, 1946-82. Translated by Clayton Eshleman and Annette Smith. The University Press of Virginia. Copyright 1990.

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