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  • The Phoenix
  • Salgado Maranhão (bio)
    Translated by Alexis Levitin

I have turned into a birdin my silted waterwayssearching for a second floorin time. I tillrevenges in the afternoonand a fulgent, febrile flight within myself.

I have turned to clay and steel. I snowa lava of love and I grow bitterness. A phoenixsinging to the ashes.

I feel in my veins a trembling—a rhythmic ship—a dubbing of silence

I catch the morning—ballerina of sunlight—stripping off the patches from my life;

and that dagger of dreamsmade of blood and an examplenailed to my heartmy house of prayer. [End Page 123]

Salgado Maranhão

Salgado Maranhão (pseudonym of José Salgado Santos) was born in Caxias in 1953. A poet, lyricist, and journalist, he is the author of Sol sangüíneo (Blood of the Sun), A pelagem da tigra (Tiger Fur), A cor da palavra [The color of the word], and most recently Sagração dos lobos [The consecration of wolves]. A major figure in Afro-Brazilian literature, he has received every major literary award in Brazil, including the 1998 Ribeiro Couto Prize from the Brazilian Union of Writers for O beijo da fera [The kiss of the beast], the 1999 Jabuti Prize for Mural de ventos [Wind mural], and the Brazilian PEN Club Prize for O mapa da tribo [The map of the tribe]. In 2011 he received the Machado de Assis Poetry Award from the Brazilian Academy of Letters, and in 2017 an honorary doctorate from the Universidade Federal de Piauí.



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