Léopold Sédar Senghor

(1906 - 2001)

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Léopold Sédar Senghor (9 October 1906 – 20 December 2001) was a Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who for two decades served as the first president of Senegal (1960–80). Senghor was the first African elected as a member of the Académie française. Before independence, he founded the political party called the Senegalese Democratic Bloc. He is regarded by many as one of the most ... more »

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Best Poem of Léopold Sédar Senghor

To New York

(for jazz orchestra and trumpet solo)

New York! At first I was bewildered by your beauty,
Those huge, long-legged, golden girls.
So shy, at first, before your blue metallic eyes and icy smile,
So shy. And full of despair at the end of skyscraper streets
Raising my owl eyes at the eclipse of the sun.
Your light is sulphurous against the pale towers
Whose heads strike lightning into the sky,
Skyscrapers defying storms with their steel shoulders
And weathered skin of stone.
But two weeks on the naked sidewalks of Manhattan—
At the end of the third week the ...

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