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Poem by Jorge de Lima
I took wild honey from the plants,
I took salt from the waters, I took light from the sky.
Listen, my brothers, I took poetry from everything
To offer it to the Lord.
I did not dig gold from the earth
Or leech blood from my brothers.
Inn-keepers: let me alone.
Peddlers and bankers:
I can fabricate distances
To keep you away from me.
Life is a failure,
I believe in the magic of God.
The roosters are not crowing,
The day has not dawned.
I saw the ships go and return.
I saw misery go and return.

I saw the fat man in the fire.
I saw zig-zags in the darkness.
Captain, where is the Congo?
Where is the Isle of Saint Brandon?
Captain, what a black night!
Mistiffs howl in the darkness.
O Untouchables, which is the country,
Which is the country that you desire?
I took wild honey from the plants.
I took salt from the waters, I took light from the sky.
Sit down, my brothers.

Translated by John Nist
(Contributed by Rozita on Friday, February 18th, 2011)
 
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Brazilian Literature