Return to my Native Land

Return to my Native Land A work of immense cultural significance and beauty this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor

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A work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language play, and deeply resonant rhythms, C saire considered this work a break into the forbidden, at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black ideA work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language play, and deeply resonant rhythms, C saire considered this work a break into the forbidden, at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black identity.More praise The greatest living poet in the French language American Book Review Martinique poet Aime Cesaire is one of the few pure surrealists alive today By this I mean that his work has never compromised its wild universe of double meanings, stretched syntax, and unexpected imagery This long poem was written at the end of World War II and became an anthem for many blacks around the world Eshleman and Smith have revised their original 1983 translations and given it additional power by presenting Cesaire s unique voice as testament to a world reduced in size by catastrophic events Bloomsbury Review Through his universal call for the respect of human dignity, consciousness and responsibility, he will remain a symbol of hope for all oppressed peoples Nicolas Sarkozy Evocative and thoughtful, touching on human aspiration far beyond the scale of its specific concerns with Cesaire s native land Martinique The Times

One thought on “Return to my Native Land”

  1. "Vainly in the tepidity of your throat you ripen for the twentieth time the same indigent solace that we are mumblers of words.Words? while we handle quarters of earth, while we wed delirious continents, while we force steaming gates, words, ah yes, words! but words of fresh blood, words that are tidalwaves and erysipelas and malarias and lava and brush fires, and blazes of flesh, and blazes of cities . . ."It might be odd for me to say that I enjoyed this poem. It definitely wasn't cheery and i [...]

  2. Haiti where negritude rose to its feet for the first time and said it believed in its own humanity; and the comic little tail of Florida where they are just finishing strangling a negro; Africa gigantically caterpillaring as far as the Spanish foot of Europe; the nakedness of Africa where the scythe of Death swings wide.Return to my Native Land by Aime Cesaire a single poem by the African activist. Cesaire was born in the French Caribbean country of Martinique. He earned a scholarship to Lycee L [...]

  3. At the end of the small hours: Life flat on its face, miscarried dreams and nowhere to put them,the river of life listless in its hopeless bed, not rising or falling, unsure of its flow, lamentablyempty, the heavy impartial shadow of boredom creeping over the quality of all things, the airstagnant, unbroken by the brightness of a single bird. When Aimé Fernand David Césaire came to study in Paris at the age of 19, he's said to have fled from the colonial misery and narrowness-mindedness of Mar [...]

  4. And neither the teacher in his classroom, nor the priest at catechism will be able to get a word out of this sleepy little picaninny, no matter how energetically they drum on his shorn skull, for starvation has quicksanded his voice into the swamp of hunger (a word-one-single-word and we-will-forget-about-Queen-Blanche-of-Castille, a word-one-single-word, you-should see-this-little-savage-who-doesn't-know-any-of-God's-Ten-Commandments), for his voice gets lost in the swamp of hunger, and there i [...]

  5. The lack of a full five is simply because you should read the bilingual edition instead, or the unexpurgated one - but, to be honest, anything is better the nothing at this point

  6. Notebook of a Return to My Native Land was hard to rate. I would rate the poem itself 3 stars but since this particular edition had a brilliant and extensive introduction that I highly appreciated and from which I took so much, I had to rate it 4 stars. Mireille Rosello did a fantastic job at putting Césaire's work into its historical context and showcasing its relevance. Her analysis added much to my comprehension of the text.Rosello took upon a very hard task: How does one commemorate the spi [...]

  7. 3.5/5 My negritude is not a stone, its deafness hurled against the clamor of the daymy negritude is not a leukoma of dead liquid over the earth's dead eyemy negritude is neither tower nor cathedralit takes root in the red flesh of the soilit takes root in the ardent flesh of the skyit breaks through opaque prostration with its upright patience.Yet another super short classic that translators and editors and introduction writers did their best to ruin. Unlike On the Abolition of All Political Par [...]

  8. A PRODUCT OF LITERARY FUSIONAime Cesaire'sReturn to My Native Land, one of the great prose-poetry works of the twentieth century, was parented by not one but three literary movements: the Negritude movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and French surrealism. The book's very rich suffusion of cultural and political nuances may be attributed to the Harlem Renaissance and the Negritude movement while its linguistic dexterity and philosophical daring would have to acknowledge some allegiance to French s [...]

  9. Reading Challenge 2016.37. Un libro de una cultura con la que no estás familiarizada/eres indiferente. Y ahora estamos en pie, mi país y yo, con los cabellos al viento, con mi mano pequeña ahora en su puño enorme, y la fuerza no está en nosotros sino por encima de nosotros, en una voz que perfora la noche y la audiencia como la penetrabilidad de una avispa apocalíptica. Y la voz pronuncia que Europa durante siglos nos ha cebado con mentiras e inflado con pestilencias, pues no es cierto que [...]

  10. I would rediscover the secret of great communications and great combustions. I would say storm. I would say river. I would say tornado. I would say leaf. I would say tree. I would be drenched by all rains, moistened by all dews. I would roll like frenetic blood on the slow current of the eye of words turned into mad horses into fresh children into clots into curfew into vestiges of temples into precious stones remote enough to discourage miners. Whoever would not understand me would not understa [...]

  11. So good.What can I do?I must begin.Begin what?The only thing in the world that's worth beginning:The End of the World, no less.words, as yes, words! butwords of fresh blood, words which aretidal waves and erysipelasmalarias and lavas and bush-fires,and burning fleshand burning citiesKnow this well:I never play except at the millenniumI never play except at the Great Fear

  12. "At the end of the small hours: this town, flat, displayed, brought down by its common sense"Against the hate and exoticism Europeans unleashed for centuries on Caribbean and African lands, this haunting litany, this rhapsodic celebration of Cesaire's native Martinique, a place where "the daylight comes velvety like the sapodilla berry, the smell of liquid manure from the coconut palm" is more than glorious locales. It is a dream inside a nightmare, a poem in which the very language is breaking [...]

  13. This long and surrealist poem is not only a cry of anger and pain against the effect of slavery and colonialism. It's also a war cry coming from the heart, and Cesaire's choice of weapon are words. It's the cry of the new "negritude", the cry of the chained man who decides to get free of his chains. What I can only call Cesaire's "freedom rage" is expressed by the choice of getting free of traditional poetry rules. He alternates between prose and free verses and uses a powerfully contrasted imag [...]

  14. I had a class on Aimé Césaire at university years ago. I remember that reading Cahier d'un retour au pays natal was so difficult, but absolutely worthwhile. I think I spent more time preparing for this class than for any of the other ones that year (well, probaly with the exception of Latinif I happened to take both classes the same semesterI really don't remember). That must have been the single most interesting class I had in French studies, not for any intersting discussions or analyses wit [...]

  15. pas toujours évident à lire, il y a des mots que je ne connaissais pas. métaphore préférée : "ce petit rien ellipsoïdal qui tremble à quatre doigts au-dessus de la ligne" (la Martinique, au-dessus de l'équateur).

  16. Aime Cesaire is brilliant and beautiful. This prose poem shows a trajectory of self acceptance by moving from individual experience to universal experience. It is unpredictable in form, and highlights the varying black experience.

  17. One of the absolute greatest long poems I've ever read. And, of course, one of the weirdest. I will soon re-read it again, and again.

  18. Marvelous. Marvelous. I'd forgotten so many details about this poem. The facing edition is an angry pleasure for the tongue.

  19. A true original, powerful and inspiring.His reliance on "the blowtorch of humor" in denouncing the effects of colonialism on his Caribbean island home (Martinique) is a clear indication that Césaire had also understood the corrosive poetics of Lautréamont.The alexandrine is so culturally ingrained that the French ear picks it up unselfconsciously.[An alexandrine is a line of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables. Alexandrines are common in the German literature of the Baroque period and in Fren [...]

  20. "I would rediscover the secret of great communications and great combustions. I would say storm. I would say river. I would say tornado. I would say leaf. I would say tree, I would be drenched by all rains, moistened by all dews. I would roll like frenetic blood on the slow current of the eye of words turned into mad horses into fresh children into clots into curfew into vestiges of temples into precious stones remote enough to discourage miners. Whoever would not understand me would not underst [...]

  21. Another book I read for my "The Other Caribbean" English literature graduate course. Definitely a surrealistic sort of book. It left me with some interesting thoughts. Definitely a different tone from A Small Place. Although the speaker has returned from his time abroad. You can see the love he has for his birthplace. He is invested in it. Could it be because Martinique remained with the France as its protectorate position? I am not sure.

  22. L’auteur retranscrit ses aventures à travers le monde d’une plume extraordinairement habile et musicale, avec une maîtrise de la langue française et une capacité à toucher les sens remarquables. D’une part, le récit est un moyen d’émouvoir le lecteur sur la condition humaine, et notamment les souffrances physiques, sociales et philosophiques subies par la population noire depuis la traite négrière et l’esclavage, jusqu’à la décolonisation, en passant par la place de cette [...]

  23. Aimé Césaire is the father of Martinican literature. In his Cahier, he explores his roots in his native Martinique and looks with an often angry voice at the repression of his fellow islanders. The Cahier is a poem directed at enlightening the views of his fellow countrymen and giving them a point at which to resist their colonial masters, to escape the bonds of Negrédom, the chains of slavery that bound them in the triangular slave trade culture and left them in the sugar cane fields of Mart [...]

  24. Cahier d’un retour au pays natal était à l’honneur du festival « Le goût des autres » d’Aimé Césaire. Faisant partie de l’équipe, j’ai voulu découvrir cette oeuvre.Cette oeuvre est un poème qui semble parfois obscure, cet aspect m’a parfois gêné dans ma lecture mais j’espère y retourner plus tard.Ce poème est un cri poignant avec une écriture violente, un livre court (75 pages) mais c’est ce qui fait sa force en plus de l’écriture. Césaire y dénonce le colonia [...]

  25. I'm writing this review because I "finished" the poem, and I'm giving it four stars because it's powerful stuff, like Walt Whitman in how beautifully it ties together the political and the personal and the universal.I'm not gonna write much else, though, because I don't think I'm really finished with it. There's a lot going on here.I'll just say this: I fucking cannot stand it when some white dingbat piece of shit goes on Fox News and starts talking about the glory of the white race, and how-- a [...]

  26. As a founder of the negritude movement in Paris in the 1930's, Cesaire's influence and significance is massive. Thankfully, the quality of his art matches the level of its stature, and then some. It's interesting to me that this movement followed the Lost Generation of Paris from the previous decade. The two do not seem related, but the point underscores the importance of Paris as a literary environment in the first half of the twentieth century. This book length poem is beautiful, in every way, [...]

  27. One of the founding texts of the Negritude movement--the Caribbean iteration of the Harlem Renaissance--Cesaire's hybrid book combines essay, memoir and poetry. It's very much of its moment, a time defined by the seemingly intractable Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. and of not-yet-collapsing colonialism in most of the rest of the world. Cesaire was influenced by the French avant-garde which he encountered as a student in France, and it shows in the way he relies on images to carry meaning. But [...]

  28. A short, brilliant, and difficult read, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land is a book I had started many times and worried that I would never in good conscience be able to move to my "read" shelf. Tonight, I sat down and read the thing cover to cover, and I admit it is something of a quagmire -- a poetic narrative which tacks back and forth between the author's birth home of Martinique and his ancestors' homes in Africa, and which uses scientific, medical, and other vocabulary words I did no [...]

  29. At the end of the small hours: the strand of dreams and the senseless awakening on this frailstratum of earth already humiliated by the greatness of its future when the volcanoes will eruptand naked waters sweep away the stains ripened by the sun till nothing is left but a tepid moltensimmering pried over by sea birds. *At the end of the small hours: Life flat on its face, miscarried dreams and nowhere to put them,the river of life listless in its hopeless bed, not rising or falling, unsure of i [...]

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