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FEATURED POET
Poetry Corner
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THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON: 22 JANUARY 2019
LISTEN TO
The Fish
by Patativa do Assaré
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus
in collaboration with American Poet,
Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
WATCH & LISTEN
OFFICIAL TRAILER
PATATIVA DO ASSARÉ
AVE POESIA
(IN PORTUGUESE)
FILM BY ROSEMBERG CARIRY
BRAZIL 2009
(2:26 MINUTES DURATION)
From parched
lands they come
Hungry faces
full of hope.
City streets
their home.

HAIKU POEM
ROSALIENE BACCHUS

Born into this crystalline lake,
the innocent fish swims its home waters
with no fear or uncertainty, no apprehension,
unaware of the future and its fatal destiny.

If at the end of a long and fine line,
an alluring bait dangles, shimmering,
the incautious fish is dazzled into embracing it,
imprisoning him on the hook of the sly fisherman.

The peasant, too, of our State, poor thing,
before the electoral campaign - conspiracy! -
that fish has the same luck.

Before the election, fiesta, fun and laughter,
after the election, burdens and more burdens
for the poor peasant from the North back-country.

NOTE: Voting is MANDATORY in Brazil for everyone
from 18 to 70 years. During election campaigns,
politicians vie for the votes of the poor and naive
population in the hinterland regions of the North and
Northeast.

Original poem “O Peixe” from Cante Lá Que Eu Canto
Cá,
Brazil, 1978.
O Peixe
Patativa do Assaré

Tendo por berço o lago cristalino,
Folga o peixe, a nadar todo inocente,
Medo ou receio do porvir não sente,
Pois vive incauto do fatal destino.

Se na ponta de um fio longo e fino
A isca avista, ferra-a inconsciente,
Ficando o pobre peixe de repente,
Preso ao anzol do pescador ladino.

O camponês, também, do nosso Estado,
Ante a campanha eleitoral, coitado!
Daquele peixe tem a mesma sorte.

Antes do pleito, festa, riso e gosto,
Depois do pleito, imposto e mais imposto.
Pobre matuto do sertão do Norte!

from PATATIVA DO ASSARÉ: DIGO E NÃO PEÇO
SEGREDO,
ESCRITURAS EDITORA, SÃO PAULO,
BRAZIL, 2001.
BRAZILIAN POET
(1909-2002)
Antônio Gonçalves
da Silva – peasant
farmer from Assaré,
Ceará, Brazil –
composed and
memorized his
poems while working
on the land.  
STREET CHILDREN
CEARÁ - BRAZIL
The sertão is the natural richness that we have, isn't it?
It's the best part of life, to those who know how to see the
sertão, because everything that nature creates is there: all
that is beautiful, that is good, that is pure, we have in the
sertão. Isn't that so?
From interview with PATATIVA DO ASSARÉ in PATATIVA DO ASSARÉ: DIGO
E NÃO PEÇO SEGREDO,
ESCRITURAS EDITORA, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL, 2001;
translation by Rosaliene Bacchus.
(The sertão is the semi-arid hinterland region of Northeast Brazil.)
TOM DA CAATINGA
(IN PORTUGUESE)
PROGRAM LAUNCHED BY
TOM JOBIM IN 2009 FOR
BRAZIL TV
(8:14 MINUTES DURATION)
Note: The caatinga
refers to the
vegetation - mostly
low thorny bushes -
that covers the
sertão.
O LUAR DO SERTÃO
MOONLIGHT IN THE SERTÃO
LUIZ GONZAGA &
MILTON NASCIMENTO
LYRICS & MUSIC BY
JOÃO PERNAMBUCO &
CATULO DA PAIXÃO CEARENSE
LYRICS IN ENGLISH

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