Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Fertile land - Jorge Barbosa

Of banana trees, orange trees
Cashew-trees
Coffee-trees, grapes, potato plantations;
Of corn, which gives us cachupa, couscous,
Batanca, gufongo;
Of sugar cane
Which gives us grog and honey...

if the rain doesn’t fall
— the discouragement,
the tragedy of drought!
— the barren hillsides, the dry plains,
              furrowed,
give out the rictus of a profound sorrow
      and dream of flesh mummified in the sun.

— Oh! the drama of rain,
oh the discouragement.
the torment
of the drought!

Jorge Barbosa (1902 - 1971) Cape Verde
Translated by Luis R. Mitras
Source: Cape Verde: language, literature & music by Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 2003

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