Canção peregrina / The Pilgrim’s Song

 

Street art in Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil. Photo: @giuliamay, Unsplash.

Editor’s Note: This text is available to read in the original Portuguese and in translation to Spanish and English. Scroll down to read in English, and click here to read in Spanish.

 


 

Canção peregrina

I

Eu canto a dor
desde o exílio
tecendo um colar
muitas histórias
e diferentes etnias

 

II

em cada parto
e canção de partida,
à mãe terra peço refúgio
ao irmão sol, mais energia
e à irmã lua peço licença poética
para esquentar os tambores
e tecer um colar
com muitas histórias
e diferentes etnias

 

III

as pedras do meu colar
são história e memória
são fluxos do espírito
de montanhas e riachos
de lagos e cordilheiras
de irmãos e irmãs
nos desertos da cidade
ou no seio da floresta

 

IV

são as contas do meu colar
e as cores dos meus guias:
amarela
vermelha
branco
negro
de norte a sul
de leste a oeste
de ameríndia
ou de Latinoamérica
povos excluídos

 

V

eu tenho um colar
de muitas histórias
e diferentes etnias.
Se não me reconhecem, paciência.
Haveremos de continuar gritando
a angústia acumulada
há mais de 500 anos

 

VI

e se nos largarem ao vento?
Eu não temerei,
não temeremos,
pois antes do exílio
nosso irmão vento
conduz nossas asas
ao sagrado círculo
onde o amálgama do saber
de velhos e crianças
faz eco nos sonhos
dos excluídos

 

VII

eu tenho um colar
de muitas histórias
e diferentes etnias

 


 

The Pilgrim’s Song

I

I sing of sorrow
from exile
weaving a necklace
many histories
and different peoples

 

II

In each birth
and song of farewell,
of mother earth, I ask refuge
of brother son, more energy 
and I beg sister moon for the poetic license
to heat up the drums
and to weave a necklace
with many histories
and different peoples

 

III

the stones of my necklace
they are history and memory
they are the flows of the spirit
of mountains and streams
of lakes and cordilleras
of brothers and sisters
in the deserts of the city
or in the forest’s bosom

 

IV

the beads of my necklace
and the colors of my guides are:
yellow
red
white
black
from north to south
from east to west
colors from Amerindian
or Latin American
excluded peoples

 

V

I have a necklace
of many histories
and different peoples
If you do not recognize me, patience.
We must continue shouting
the anguish accumulated
over more than 500 years

 

VI

and if the wind drops us?
I won’t be afraid
We won’t be afraid
because before our exile
our brother wind
will carry our wings
to the sacred circle
where the confluence of knowledge
of the elderly and children
echoes in the dreams
of the excluded

 

VII

I have a necklace
of many histories
and different peoples

Translated by Caroline Garriott

 

Caroline Garriott studies the intersections between race, religion, and visual culture in the early modern Lusophone and Hispanic empires. She holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and completed a MA in Andean History at the Universidad Pontificia Católica del Perú with the thesis Imágenes de Autoridades: Mecenas indígenas en la pintura virreinal peruana (Siglos XVII-XVIII). Caroline received a PhD in Latin American History from Duke University in 2019 with a doctoral dissertation entitled Coloring the Sacred: Visions of Devotional Kinship in Colonial Peru and Brazil. She has published articles in the books Crítica de la razón andina (2018) and Texts and Contexts: Women in Colonial Latin America, 1550-1823 (2018).

Languages

LALT No. 18
Number 18

In our eighteenth issue, we feature the work of beloved Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez alongside that of João Cabral de Melo Neto, renowned Brazilian poet and third Latin American winner of the Neustadt Prize. We also highlight Latin American women poets, indigenous literature from Brazil, new works in translation, and a return to the essay through the words of Mariano Picón Salas.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Featured Author: Reina María Rodríguez

Dossier: João Cabral de Melo Neto

Fiction

Poetry

Essays

Interviews

Brazilian Literature

Indigenous Literature

Translation Previews and New Releases

On Translation

On Translation: Seeking Publisher

On the Essay

Nota Bene