Poetry is the passionate sigh that springs as naturally as perfumed breath
from the mouth of those that dare to bear their bodies firmly striding, to build
the future where coming generations will walk in turn.
As our legacy to those to be born, we'll leave for them to know in their
the perfume of each step we've taken
like open scars in every
Only whoever knows how to feel and to inherit poetry already produced by
nature and humanity can produce poetry at all. And the heart alerts the marcher
by saying that:
a flower is blooming
a tree is sleeping
a mountain is shouting.
there are cloud and rainbow
there are tenderness and passion
hunger, people dying
there is sorrow in the song.
there are open lips
there are people on the march
there are wars in these
there's moonlight here in the sertão(1).
there are animals coupling
there are dreams in the
Poetry is like the sea, which turns its power to humility, laying itself at
the foot of the mountains, hoping that the sweet water of the hills will come to
slake its thirst. The sea does not destroy the mountain, for it knows it would
have nowhere to lay its head whenever it wanted to rest from the lapping of the
waves. So, like poetry, it preserves life so that life can be fed by it.
Beauty, tired, slipped away, to rest in the encampments of the Sem Terra,
waiting for the land to give back space for seeds of beauty to sprout with
sensitivity, to sow a future of peace and solidarity.
Neruda(2), Drummond(3), João Cabral(4), Marighella(5),
Casaldáliga(6)... are born again in the shade of black plastic,
transformed into dreams of those who learned to love life, staring at an
imaginary point of the utopian horizon, where rests the hour of their
We are here. We want to dream and to show what beauties lurk in the
labyrinths of our being.
One day we shall understand the flowers, when they tell us that only those
that don't fear flowering can give off a perfume.
1 Editor's note: Sertão/ Backlands: 'A sparsely populated
region of the interior [of Brazil], especially the driest area, the caatinga
[region covered with brushwood], connected to the cattle cycle, where old
customs and traditions persist' (from the Dicionário Houaiss da
Língua Portuguesa, Rio de Janeiro: Editora Objetiva, 2001).
2 Editor's note: Neruda (Pablo Neruda): poet, Chilean ambassador, born
in 1904, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1971, died 1973, a few days after the
assassination of President Salvador Allende. His early poetry, noted for its
sensuality and love themes, like Veinte poemas de amor y una canción
desesperada (Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair), 1924, changed after
his experience in the Spanish Civil War, which he tells of in the collection
España en el corazón (Spain in the Heart), 1938. After this major
departure, he embraced Marxism, as can be seen in Canto en Estalingrado (Song in
3 Editor's note: Drummond (Carlos Drummond de Andrade): poet born in
Minas Gerais in 1902. From his long, diverse, and prolific literary career, one
may cite Brejo das Almas (Swamp of Souls), 1934, and Sentimento do Mundo
(Feeling of the World), 1940, in which the wish for solidarity with human beings
4 Editor's note: João Cabral de Melo Neto: poet and diplomat,
born in Recife, Pernambuco, in 1920. His narrative poem Morte e vida severina
(Death and Life of Severino), is sub-titled Auto de Natal pernambucano. Written
in 1954-55, it is one of the foremost works in Brazilian literature to treat the
5 Editor's note: Marighella (Carlos Marighella, 1911-1969): Brazilian
revolutionary, the important leader of the armed struggle against the military
dictatorship. His forty years of militancy began with the Brazilian Communist
Party (PCB), with which he broke in 1968. He was the national founder and
director of the Ação Libertadora Nacional - ALN (National
Liberation Action), an armed organization whose name echoes the revolutionary
spirit of the Aliança Nacional Libertadora - ANL (National Liberation
Alliance) commanded by Luís Carlos Prestes. Marighella was assassinated
at 57 by the dictatorship (1969).
6 Editor's note: Casaldáliga (D. Pedro Maria
Casaldáliga): Bishop of Spanish origin, prelate of São
Félix do Araguaia, in Mato Grosso, a witness of the growing number of
poor squatters in a context of conflict and killing for land. His bilingual
Antologia retirante (Migrant Anthology) was published during the dictatorship
(1978) by the Editora Civilização Brasileira. His poems express
his commitment to the oppressed.