The poetry of Ahmed Sékou Touré



A respected thinker and leader, Sekou Toure. Brother of Nkrumah, mentor of Kwame Ture:

Revolution
(by Sékou Touré)
Global REVOLUTION!
You find the solution
For each of our pains
Darting forth lighthouse and compass
You guide together

Men and women, young and old
On the uneasy road of progress
Doing away with all hindrances
Step by step
Methodically and tirelessly
Organizing persons, things
And means of struggle
In order to rebuild the nation
And better reconstruct the state
The family the village and the region.

National REVOLUTION!
Your accelerated and assured move
Justifies your decisions
In their morality,
Always in compliance with human objectives
Controlling the vehicle of history
You unerringly orientate
All activities
Of the People, Nation and State
In perfect harmony and order
In the strengthening of their rational grounds
And in the certainty to forge victory.

Multiform but one REVOLUTION!
Reaction is under your feet
Mercilessly crushed down.
Forward, go forward
Without fear; without hesitation.
You are conscience,
You are action!
Men and women
Young and old
Have all in view
Exaltant plans
And have chosen
Means to achieve them
For the triumph
Of the People's cause
In order to meet
The just necessities
Namely:
Justice, equality, democracy and peace

Democratic REVOLUTION!
In front of you
Was standing the injustice stronghold
But henceforth
Woman is equal to man
And are born
The groundworks of the new community
In the family and the village
In the region and the Nation.
Beyond any privileges
Of age and sex
Of color and faith
Will everywhere triumph
Equality, brotherhood and solidarity
For every one
To normally evolve
Within the communitarian frame
That is henceforth established
Both collective and individual.

Transtemporal REVOLUTION!
Heritage of past
Reality of present
Seed of our future;
It transforms both
Subject and object of history
Assigning to itself
Ever-growing objectives
To lead society
Towards its own surpassing.
For feudalism
Colonialism,
Imperialism
It has contempt and disdain
Its struggle against exploiting capitalism
Takes no end.
It wants to free society
From indignity
And makes it master of its own fate
A magnificent fate
That will be constructed
By the conscious efforts of all.

Economic REVOLUTION!
Source of prosperity
It exhorts the working classes
To produce more
To increase
The riches of the Nation.
It liberates the productive forces.
As well as their initiatives
Organizes co-operatives and trade unions
Whose dynamic activities
And progressive impulse
Will harmonize the interests
Through struggle,
A merciless struggle
Against selfishness and exploitation;
It suppresses under-development
Together with its share of insufficiency,
Misery and suffering.

Socialist REVOLUTION!
Starting from the People
For the well-being of the People
It socializes men
And their means of production
It nationalizes the riches
Of soil and subsoil
In order to make inalienable
To domainal patrimony.
To any development
Assigning social objectives,
It states the primacy
Of the People’s right and interests,
To the People, it confers sovereignty and power
To the individual, freedom, participation and security
In order to assure interdependence
Between ‘part’ and ‘whole’
Which belong to each other
And originate in each other.

Human REVOLUTION!
For which man is superior
To all material riches
Which by his work
He creates and censures.
It facilitates the bloom
Of intellectual faculties
Giving to the instruction
And the education of man
Their most human sense.
It guarantees for everyone
Liberty and dignity'
In everyday life
Within society
Brotherly united
In solidarity.
It makes society human
And Being, universal.
And to the realms of love
Where angels dwell
It directs man.

Cultural REVOLUTION!
Free and enlightened thought
A sense of analysis, sense of synthesis!
From the earth
Man conquers space.
And the moon and the stars
Unveil the unknown.
Men in olden time
By their mystic creed
With its immutable horizons
Threw a gloom over universe.
Let us unite planets
Into a bunch of knowledge.
Let my faults grow into virtues
Past, present and future
Melt in the pot of action
In perpetual rebirth
Of ever new quality.
Born from time
And from my will
My intelligence is made sensible
And from the instinct proceeds my conscience
Which penetrates the infinite.
Man must steal from the sky its secrets
To see, hear and understand
The rhythm of the Cosmos.
Dead are reconciled with the living
We too, like you, wish
To live an eternal life
The life which is perpetuated
From generation
To generation.

Popular REVOLUTION!
Inexhaustible source
Of legitimacy and legality
Continue your onward move!
Necessary and useful
Serve the People and do not make use of it,
Your theory cast in action
Is exclusively based
On the capacities of the People,
The People,
Invincible and incorruptible
The true engine of progress;
Triumph over all forces of evil
And use conscientiously for your aims
Nature and science.
You are in my conscience and existence
The determining force
That enlightens and guides
My being
Towards a more beautiful future

Historic REVOLUTION!
Condition of the environment
Will of progress,
You make history.
You are even history
Which leads the slave
From colonial gloom
To the sunshine
Of freedom.
You enable the People
To perform the blissful transition
From irresponsibility
To full sovereignty
Which stops oppression
And degradation
Prosperous changes
Are thus brought about
For the progress of the People
On the road of time
And beyond continents,
Always onward to happiness
On the endless horizon.

African REVOLUTION!
You have conquered me for yourself
For my People and for myself.
I understand your meaning
Just and irreversible.
I have committed myself to your line
Body and soul.
You have rendered confidence
To those who were about to fall in despair
Promoting without calculation
Everybody's condition.
For this very reason
You are in my consciousness
The reality
Which I belong to
In flesh and soul.
In my lifetime as in my grave
I entirely and for ever
Belong to you
Who are henceforth myself,
My People,
Their great ideas
Their courageous struggle
That must open
To unity.
(source)

And another source from the University Of Florida:

Sékou Touré's career as a poet was limited to his Poèmes Militants (1978). A terse volume of revolutionary poetry, Poèmes Militants can be regarded as much as a treatise as an artistic expression. Austere and direct, what it lacks in literary creativity it makes up for in vehemence and fervor. Poèmes militants reflects Sékou Touré's charismatic leadership style. It is a raw expression of his vision, void of encumbering description.

From "Poèmes militants" (1978):

Revolution is exigency (Lines 1-10)
"Let us resolutely destroy
Any betrayer of the Nation
Let us nail to the post
The murderers of BOIRO
These weapon-monsters
And the infamous causes
They oppose to liberty
To the right and dignity
Of the great People ever-valiant
Always streaming of sweat:"

Africa (Lines 18-30)
I am Africa
The Continent of tomorrow!
Neo-colonialism
Ferocious as subtle
Wishes to keep in shackles
Both my Mind and my Wealth.
Of the evils plaguing me still,
Most debasing is irresponsibility My Peoples, henceforth
Heroic resistants, Have joined the battle:
Destroying in order to renew.