Today, I would like to share a poem by one of Angola’s most prolific writer and its first president, Agostinho Neto. This poem, “Havemos de Voltar” / “We Shall Return“, speaks to all people, and all times.
Back when this was written from his prison cell in Lisbon, the poem symbolized the return of lost sons, of exiles, of freedom fighters, and the return to their homeland, their loved ones, and the re-attribution of their resources back to them. Today, the message means pretty much the same: a return to liberty (African countries’ freedom from the oppressors), economic freedom (FCFA, the slave currency), and even freedom to all immigrants around the globe who run away from their country because of poverty, war, etc. So to all those seeking a return to peace, to love, a return home, here is Agostinho Neto‘s message.
|Havemos de voltar
Às casas, às nossas lavras
ÀS nossas terras
Às nossas minas de diamantes
Aos nossos rios, nossos lagos
À frescura da mulemba
À marimba e ao quissange
À bela pátria angolana
Havemos de voltar
|We shall return
To the houses, to our crops,
To our lands
To our mines of diamonds
To our rivers, our lakes
To the shade of the mulemba
To the marimba and the quissange
To our beautiful Angolan homeland
We shall return
From Sacred Hope – Poems by Agostinho Neto, published by the Angolan Writers Union, 1986, sponsored by the National Bank of Angola. Translated to English by Marga Holness.
2 thoughts on ““Havemos de Voltar”/ “We Shall Return” by Agostinho Neto”
I was actually looking for Agostinho Neto’s ‘February’ which is probably the one I like most
among Neto’s poems. That said, now that I’ve read Havemos de Voltar, I am struck by the
calm defiance and evocative patriotism expressed by the author. And they did return.
Beautiful Jean-Paul… I will try to find Agostinho Neto’s poem ‘February’