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IN SEARCH OF CHILDHOOD
À PROCURA DA INFÂNCIA
ANILDA LEÃO
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus
Amidst the
rubble
broken toys
stench of
the dead.
Childhood lost
in war.

HAIKU POEM
ROSALIENE BACCHUS

I try to hear in the voice of the wind
the lost echo of my childhood.
And in the light-hearted laughter of little children
I glimpse my former cheerfulness.

I seek in the deserted and silent streets,
the joyful song of dance music
and my forays of times past.
Within that paved avenue,

where luxury cars roll by,
I search for my ugly and poor little street.
I try to see in the dolls today,
so beautiful, with silky braids,

the small rag doll I rocked in my arms.
I try to find in the face of first communicants
traces of my innocence
and of that first emotion that remained in time.  

Desperate, I try to discover,
in the face of innocent children
my lost purity.

I search in vain, for I will never find
vestiges of my happy childhood,
that the years have concealed in its abyss.
BRAZILIAN POET
(1923-2012)
CHILDHOOD
LOST
I think that I fell into the family by chance. It was a
mistake (laughs). Because all of my sisters were
quiet, well-behaved, and I was mischievous and
disobedient. And when the period of adolescent
began, when I began to date, that’s when my
suffering began because I was beaten a lot, beaten a
lot, beaten a lot. I was like a strange person in the
family. Today, no. After I got married, I became closer
with my sisters and my mother.
INTERVIEW WITH JANAYNA AVILA, GAZETA DE ALAGOAS,
28 OCTOBER 2007
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus.
SOURCE: LUSOFONIA POÉTICA BLOG
ANILDA LEÃO is a poet,
writer, singer, actress,
and militant feminist
from the Northeastern
State of Alagoas.

After completing her
secondary education,
she studied music,
rhetorical speech,
public speaking,
diction, oral and lyrical
songs st the Alagoas
Conservatory of Music.

Anilda began writing
newspaper articles and
poetry at the age of
thirteen.

Her first poetry
collection,
Chão de
Pedras
(Ground of
Stones), was published
in 1961.

Her 1973 publication of
short stories,
Riacho
Seco
(Dry Brook), won
the Graciliano Ramos
Award of the Alagoas
Academy of Letters.

Other poetry
collections include:
Chuvas de Verão
(1974) and
Poemas
Marcados
(1978).

During the 1970s,
Anilda Leão worked in
the Department of
Culture of the State of
Alagoas. In the 1980s,
she moved to the
State Secretariat of
Culture.
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À Procura Da Infância
Anilda Leão

Procuro ouvir na voz do vento
o eco perdido da minha infância.
E no riso franco das criancinhas
eu vislumbro o meu riso antigo.

Procuro nas ruas desertas e silenciosas,
o canto alegre das cirandas
e as minhas correrias do tempo recuado.
Dentro daquela avenida asfaltada,

onde rolam automóveis de luxo,
eu busco a minha ruazinha feia e pobre.
Procuro ver nas bonecas de hoje,
tão lindas, de tranças sedosas,

a bonequinha de trapo que eu embalei no meus braços.
Procuro encontrar no rosto das neocomungantes
traços de minha inocência
e a primeira emoção daquela que ficou no tempo.

Procuro descobrir, desesperada,
na face ingênua das crianças
a minha pureza perdida.

Procuro em vão, pois não encontrarei jamais
vestígios da minha infância feliz,
que os anos guardaram no seu abismo.
The Northeast State
of ALAGOAS lies on
the eastern coastline
of Brazil. A little larger
than Haiti in size, it is
one of the country's
two smallest states.

With an estimated
population of 3.3
million (2013), it is
comprised mainly of
people of European
(53.7%), African
(26.6%), and
Amerindian (18.7%)
descent.

MACEIÓ is the state
capital and largest
city.

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