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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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History: Marches, defining moments, congresses
History: Massacres and martyrs


Ademar Bogo


To march and be victorious

Opening up
In this chink of time at the century's end
Is our chance to cry:
Hunger, misery and tyranny are not legacies

Our legacies are the work, achievements, dreams
Laid down by those that marched before
Planting seeds of hope in history
Bequeathing us the task of forging,
In our struggle, the path to victory.

To march is more than just to walk
It's tracing out in footprints
That route which leads to dignity without lament.

Processions, like the people hand-in-hand,
Signal in their profiled tracks
Proclaiming in their silence
That we must awaken
To set in motion
The suffering feet of millions, humbled through the ages,
Without the fear of weaving freedom.

And in the wake of these brave strugglers
We start to build ourselves anew, constructive
Of our aim to bear us to a new society.

We march to know that in each heart is hope
A flame afire in every breast
And that same light will make us march
To a history woven in our own way.

Pain, hunger, misery and oppression need not last
Eternal only are the dreams, the beauty and the solidarity
Forever on the road of those who walk
Towards utopia on the wings of freedom

The marches feed grand thoughts
For great is every walker's dream
As joy springs from our lamentation
Wisdom from our ignorance
From our defeats triumphant victory

Come all of you! - So say our banners
Flickering like flames in the fire
And scorching the conscience of enemies
That make of our country branches for nesting
Vultures to feed on:
The factories, the jobs,
The medicines and the health of hospitals
The lessons of the schools that would educate youth,
And the right to live the freedom of the land.

So our country's come to be but a property
Private, enslaved and forced
To hand to its children at birth
The uncertainty of surviving the day, of seeing the night.

We must march
To scare the vultures from our roads
And construct a dawn without fear
For if dreams are everlasting
Eternal too is certain victory.


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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