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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)


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Emerging culture by media type -> Poems 46 resources (Edited by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Bernard McGuirk.)

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Culture: Mission of art


Zé Pinto


Poem of blood

Today when the hands of the clock
Mark another twenty-four hours
A thousand children will have died of hunger
In this my beautiful country
Of football and of carnival
That's why I write poems of blood.

Many warriors of dignity,
New values
Abandoned the trenches
Or point to solutions through a third way
Trying to ignore the begging
Moans of misery
That's why I write poems of blood.

Where are the poets who wrote in the street?
Who recited to the moon
Who plucked the guitars?
To see seed sprout on a seed-wheel.
There's no use denying it:
Television dictated and many obeyed.
Illusion was the agent
And whoever wallowed in those waves
Couldn't be a serenader.
For soon they were sure
A people kept in ignorance
Always pays more
That's why I write poems of blood.

But if the weed
Can never succeed
In taking over the plantation,
There are many trees still
Bearing good fruit
And it's from that fruit that we'll feed
And it's from that seed we'll replant
But I tell you again
That there's still a need
That's why I write poems of blood.


November 2002

Resource ID:


Anthology of poems
A first-hand selection, unpublished in Brazil and elsewhere. A militant poetics; the social and political importance of the poet-singer (cantador), the construction of a canon of exclusion; the landless woman; the theme of death as life's horizon; the pedagogic project.
Else R P Vieira

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