Wednesday, October 03, 2012

And meanwhile, at the Manuscript Library- on higher ground in the centre of Djenne- the digitization work steams ahead. Next week we will start making the acid free protection boxes. Just to cheer myself up I asked to see the manuscript of love poems by Imroul Kiss that Mohammed had talked about the other day. And here it is. Mohammed had termed it ‘love poetry’, but that seems a little too dainty an expression... It turns out that everyone knows about the poetry of Mr. Kiss, a pre-Islamic poet. Our Don Juan seems to be a mere weakling, dwarfed in the shadow of the mighty Kiss. ‘He made love more than 1000 times a day’ confides Garba to me. ‘Marabouts use his poetry for maraboutage to treat impotence... ‘Just read me this bit’ I asked Mohammed, who looked at the random page which I was showing him. He blushed a bit- if such a thing is possible- and translated the page which was a description of Kiss arriving at the house of a young married woman who was breast feeding her baby. Kiss is turned on by this and tells the woman to put the baby away and to come and satisfy him- which she does immediately- as if she were hypnotized. No woman ever resists Kiss, apparently. ‘ Ah, but that might become a bit boring’, I objected. ‘Is there never any element of seduction involved?’ Mohammed assured me that there were great seduction scenes too. So now we will have to await, with baited breath, Mohammed’s translation into English of some of Mr. Kiss’s poetry! And since we already know that Mohammed’s English is ‘prolific and inspirational’ Kiss’s poetry is likely reach hitherto unattained lyrical heights!


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Now I wonder, is love poetry the right category for this? (Thinking lust poetry . . .). Anyway, so glad you gave is a glimpse of Mr. Kiss after your tantalizing preview in an earlier post!

2:28 AM  

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