Days ago, in an exciting music-meets-poetry move, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo shared this photo of herself, a self-described search for Senegal’s poet-president Leopold Sedar Senghor. One of the continent’s most important intellectuals of the 20th century, Senghor, who passed on in 2001, was a leader of the Negritude movement.

Kidjo is leaning on the railing of the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, a footbridge over the River Seine in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Formerly called the Passerelle Solférino, or pont de Solférino, the bridge was renamed after Senghor on 9 October 2006, to mark the centenary of his birth. Kidjo captioned the photo: “In Paris tonight, searching for the spirit of the poet Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Yet it looks like we already found our muse.

So which Seghor poem does this photo remind you of? “I Will Pronounce Your Name”? “Night in Sine”? “In Memoriam”? “Midnight Elegy”?

Good to know that our pre-eminent diva loves the poet we love.

Leopold Sedar Senghor.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young’s writing has been shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award, and nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in Transition (“A Tenderer Blessing,” 2015), The Threepenny Review (“Mulumba,” 2016), and Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality (“You Sing of a Longing,” 2017), an anthology of The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His work further appears in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays, Africa in Dialogue, and Brittle Paper, where he is submissions editor. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series: a sequence of concept-based e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness. The first anthology, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (Oct., 2016) focuses on cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June, 2017) focuses on professions. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and currently teaches English at another Nigerian university. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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