January 20th, 2013 marks 40 years since the murder of the Father of Bissau-Guinean and Cape-Verdean independence: Amilcar Cabral. Africa today is still mourning the loss of one of his greatest sons. I thought it would be nice to publish one his poems. Yes… Amilcar Cabral was not just an agronomic engineer, or an independentist, or a freedom fighter, he was also a nature lover and a great writer. Enjoy! One can already guess that the following poem is about the island of Cape Verde. (The English translation was taken from, ”AMILCAR CABRAL, Freedom fighter,1924-1973“, by Carlos Pinto Santos)
Tu vives — mãe adormecida —
nua e esquecida,
batida pelos ventos,
ao som de músicas sem música
das águas que nos prendem…
teus montes e teus vales
não sentiram passar os tempos,
e ficaram no mundo dos teus sonhos
— os sonhos dos teus filhos —
a clamar aos ventos que passam,
e às aves que voam, livres
as tuas ânsias!
colinas sem fim de terra vermelha
— terra bruta —
rochas escarpadas tapando os horizontes
mas aos quatro cantos prendendo as nossas ânsias!
Mother, in your perennial sleep,
You live naked and forgotten
thrashed by the winds,
at the sound of songs without music
sung by the waters that confine us…
Your hills and valleys
haven’t felt the passage of time.
They remain in your dreams
– your children’s dreams –
crying out your woes
to the passing winds
and to the carefree birds flying by.
Red earth shaped like a hill that never ends
– rocky earth –
ragged cliffs blocking all horizons
while tying all our troubles to the winds!