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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 is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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