In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Resistance

(African Body)

Our children are losing their childhood, so that soon they will have no memory of “having heard about,” which means nowing glory. They struggle with life and learn to be beggars. And what kind of nation can be made when history gives the lie to the people and becomes fiction and spends the whole time spouting jargon that turns the masters (leftovers) into dregs? Life goes on and is worn away by life, and those who struggled are children of death. The “wise” ones say that it’s a matter of luck, that each people receives its proper measure.

Even the faith that we inherited like a sword is hurled against a rusty tank. That’s what animals believe—we’re translated like this in front of feverish and famished mouths.

But there’s still the dark sound of the drums that the masters will never silence. In that sound we have the Axé of the Orishas that they call devils: The gods are our mentors! But let it be known, that, even dead, without plenty, we’re recognized as heroes of scarcity, and if cruelty cuts off our tongue the dance remains in our body.

Resistência

(Corpo Africano)

Nossas crianças têm perdido a infância E desse jeito não terão memória De “ouvir falar” é que conhecem a glória Lutam com a vida e aprendem a mendicância E que nação se faz, quando a história Desmente o povo e vira ficção E passa o tempo inteiro de jargão [End Page 102] Que faz dos donos (restos), a escória? A vida passa e se desgastam em vida E os que lutaram são filhos da morte Propalam os “sábios”que é questão de sorte Que a cada povo é dado sua medida

Até a fé que herdamos como espada É atirada a um tanque de ferrugem Crença de bichos—é como nos traduzem Perante as bocas febrís e esfomeadas . . .

Mas resta aindo o som escuro dos tambores Que os senhores não calarão jamais Temos no som o Axé dos Orixás Que chamen diabos: São nossos mentores! Pois saibam, mesmo mortos, sem abastança Reconhecidos como heróis da míngua Se a crueldade nos cortar a língua Em nosso corpo ainda resta a dança.

Stepmother Country

To love is all that’s left for me As if it weren’t enough To add to work and happiness Pride as a banner And history as a sheet Extended throughout our lives Black, constant, brilliant like the white garments of Orisán’lá To love is all that’s left for me In this land of invented glories And heroes hidden By cross and harquebus kissed Outside libraries and inside schools To love is all that’s left for me On the edge of Oyá’s sword My visiting card To the guardians of the insolent right of wanting to be more human than I. [End Page 103]

Madrasta pátria

Amar é tudo que me resta Como se não bastasse Acrescentar o trabalho e alegria O orgulho como bandeira E a história como lençol Estendido ao longo de nossas vidas Negras, constantes, brilhantes Como as vestes alvas de Orisán’lá Amar é tudo que me resta Nesta terra de glórias inventadas E heróis escondidos Pelas cruzes e arcabuzes que se beijam Bibliotecas a fora, escolas a dentro Amar é tudo que me resta Ao fio da espada de Oyá Meu cartão de visita Aos guardiões do desaforado direito De querer ser mais humanos que eu.

Grandma Brandina

There you go, Grandma Brandina My children, my parents, your grandchildren There you go, aged black woman of mine, Great grandmother of my poems Mother of the birth of this song, Your black and beautiful partner, Telling stories of the sugar mills Of cane pressing and being fenced in Of the whip and brave men Of ebonified skin

There you go, daughter of Nanã I’m here and I don’t know where you are I’m in the struggle...

Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.