– Who is she whose-feet-go-clattering-the-hard-ground?
– The daughter of the new chief-of-thousand.
– If it is the daughter of the chief-of-thousand
tell her soon the night will fall
and that I will exchange love red as coral
for a hint of friendship.
– Who is she-who-comes-from-the-north?
– The sister of the widow-with-the jamerose-perfume.
– Tell her to come in without delay,
I will prepare her something good to eat.
– She will not taste it, if I know her:
she takes only rice water
not because she is thirsty
but capricious about you.
About this poem
This poem, representing Madagascar, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.