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Callaloo 24.4 (2001) 1135-1136

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Banner Of Agony

Edimilson de Almeida Pereira

Whoever uses it weaves it
from contemporary threads,
in spite of existing, in the
past as a stranger.
The weavers were João and Arthur
Timóteo da Costa,
studying in the National
School of Fine Arts:
beneath the layer of models
each one generated his fortune,
less hoped for
but free, in the free madness.
Another Arthur, in exile,
made the banner of agony.
In the ocean, he looked
for words, and through his strength
he saved them from the certain
for an uncertain hospice.
How could the thread of that underwater
dive hold fast? Does anyone know the desire
of the navigator Artur Bispo
do Rosário? Who saw [End Page 1135]
his feat of engineering?
The banner of agony
is love filtering
the misery that educates us.

We see the ship that
Artur Bispo do Rosário
parked. With fear
and courage, we have the key.

--Translated by Steven F. White

From White.

Edimilson de Almeida Pereira lives in Juiz de Fora in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He has published poetry and studies of Brazilian culture which include Corpo vivido, A roda do mundo (with Ricardo Aleixo), Negras raízes mineiras: Os arturos, and Mundo encaixado: Significação da cultura popular. He teaches Brazilian literature at the Federal University in Juiz de Fora.

Steven F. White's study and translations of contemporary Afro-Brazilian poetry have appeared in Callaloo 18.4, 19.1, and 20.1. He is the co-author with Edimilson de Almeida Pereira of "Brazil: Analysis of the Interactions and Conflicts in a Multicultural Society" in Cultural Cartographies: Comparative Studies in Race, Ethnicity and Nationhood. He also translated the subtitles for the feature-length film Cruz e Sousa: O Poeta do Desterro (1999) by Brazilian director Sylvio Back. White's CD Transversions (2001) includes his translations set to music of poetry by Latin American and Spanish writers. His most recent volume of poetry is Fire that Engenders Fire/Fuego que engendra fuego. He teaches at St. Lawrence University.



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