Words Mirror Mysteries


RETURN TO MY NATIVE LAND                        by Aime Cesaire

I hear from the hold below the curses of the chained,

The hiccups of the dying, the splash of someone thrown

into the sea-

The baying of a woman in labour –the scraping of

Nails seeking throats –the chuckles of the whip;

The scurrying of vermin across worn-out bodies;

Nothing could provoke us toward any noble desperate


So be it. So be it.

I am of no nationality foreseen by the Chancelleries.

I defy the craniometer. Homo sum etc. –

Let them serve and betray and die.

So be it. So be it .It was written in the form of their


And I , and I,

I who sang the clenched fist.

You should know the extent of my cowardice.


To flee.my heart was full of generous hopes.

To flee – I should arrive lithe and young in this country

of mine and I should say to this land whose mud is

flesh of my flesh :’I wander for a long time and

 I am retuning to the deserted foulness of your

Wounds’ .’

I should come back to this land of mine and say to it :

‘Embrace me without fear –

If all I can do is speak, at least I shall speak for you.’

O I am to be pitie!

I do not ask for alms’

O you men with good conscience who have never

Murdered anyone ,never struck evil blows and whose

Dreams are not haunted by any ghost.


Who and what are we? Excellent  question.

Haters. Builders. Traitors. Voodoos, Voodoos especially.

For we desire all evils

Those of yesterday, those of today,

Those of the iron collar, those of the liver,

Those of deprivation, those of escape,

And we are not forgetting those of the slaver.

Ho! Pity! Hyena! long circle around my rottenness,no

Justice is done us.

And on the day of execution we know the hymns to

 sing in prison.


Give me the courage of the martyr

Give me the savage faith of the sorcerer

Give my hand the power to mould

Give my soul the sword’s temper

I won’t evade. Make my head a prow

And of myself, my heart,

Make neither a father nor a brother, nor a son, but the

Father, the brother, the son

not the husband , but the lover of this unique people.

Make me refractory to vanity, but docile to their

genius as the fist to the extended arm.

Make me commissar of their blood

Make me trustee of their resentments

Make me a man of termination

Make me a man of initiation

Make me a man of meditation

But also make me a man  of germination

Make me the executioner

This is the time to get one’s loins like a valiant man

But so dong ,my heart preserves me from all hatred.

Do not make me that man of hate for whom I feel

nothing but hate

For cantoned in this unique race

You know however my love

You know that it is not out of hatred for  other races

That I am the toiler of this unique race

What I want is for the universal hunger

For the universal thirst

I call the race to be finally free

To produce out of its closed intimacy

The succulence of fruits

And see the tree of our hands1

It turns for  all wounds notched in its trunk

For all the soil works and lures toward the branches

 A perfumed precipitiousness

But before landing at future orchards

Let me merit those on the tangle of sea

May I keep my heart while awaiting the earth

May I keep over this sterile ocean

Which caresses the hand ,the promise of armour,

May I keep over this various oceans

The obstinacy of the found course

And its vigour at sea.


As there are hyena-men and leopard-men, I would be

       a jew-man

       a kaffir-man

       a hindu-man from Calcutta

       a man from Harlem who doesn’t vote

    the famine-man, the insult-man, the torture-ma

One can at any moment seize, beat up ,or kill without

    having to account to anybody, without having to

     excuse oneself to anyone

     a jew-man

     a pogrom-man, a little tyke ,a bum

But  is remorse to be slain,

Beautiful as the stupefied face of an English lady at

discovering a Hottentot’s skull in her soup?...

Whoever would not comprehend me would comprehend

the roaring of the tiger .


What madness is my dream of a marvelous caper

above this baseness

Yes, the white men are great warriors,

Hossannah for the master and the castrater of Negroes!

Victory! Victory I tell you; the vanquished are content!

Joyous stench and songs of mud!

By means of an unexpected and beneficent internal


I honor  now my loathsome ugliness.