My name is Brasil.
I was born in 1822 and I have survived,
Over two centuries.
I have seen the slaves that were brought from Africa to
Work in the sugarcane plantations
That Gilberto Freyre
Wrote about in casa grande e senzala;
I have seen wars of many kinds,
And the atrocities committed by our great dictator
In the land that was freed originally
By King Dom Pedro;
I have seen me disrobed in the heart of Amazonia
In broad daylight, with such apathy,
To cultivate soja that would feed the chickens
In faraway China;
I have seen the hardwood that once belonged to
Magnificent tall trees of my bosom,
To make dead furniture for our brethren in the cultured Europe;
While I had some life-force left,
My heart was callously drilled deep, to extract the oil that has
Carefully preserved ancient memories over the centuries,
Only to power more humans and machines.
I weep helplessly. I am forsaken by everyone.
I am alone.
I need children to play with me but the children are busy
Playing with their mobile devices;
I need grandma and grandpa to converse with me.
But they are numbed by the many soap operas
On this magical box named
I do not want to be in prolonged sorrow;
Ariano Suassuna wrote:
‘An optimist is a fool and a pessimist is a bore;
I would rather be a hopeful realist’.
I am positively hopeful that my fellow country men
Would appreciate the land that once belonged
To their ancestors and not trammel
it entirely with utter selfishness.
Thanks to our king Dom Pedro who over
A polite conversation with his father and
Mother pleaded that I be
The king of Portugal did not want to
Let go of
This succulent place
With plenty of resources;
After many a coercion,
I was delivered via
Our dear Machado da Assis was a little child then,
And little did the world know that he
Would become a great
I have seen him as a little boy,
Playing with his parents in the country
Rio, a magical place for many, yet the freed slaves
Were never offered a place to integrate;
With much sadness they moved to the periphery
And lived in scanty sheds with plenty of violence and bloodshed.
I have enough resources but my country folks
Prefer Brahma and Skol over coconut water and suco natural.
I have been usurped umpteen number of times
By people with vested interests, that I am left with no more tears;
At times, the wails of the mother
Whose son was murdered brutally in the favela Alemão
Would flow through the labyrinths filled with shards
Of Heineken and vodka bottles;
Those million little pieces comfort the tears momentarily,
Allowing myriad of sun rays to play with them, creating a beautiful rainbow;
Rainbow on an otherwise hot sunny day, a towering witness to
Many unfilled dreams of those countless dead souls in nosso favela.
My men are in chains.
They seek solace in the
If only they look up at the sky to see the arrara azuls
That carries açai to
Victorius‘ friend Julia
If only our ever-caring politicians not throw wool over the eyes of the public,
If only the meaningless bureaucracy that
Chokes one and all so much is banished,
Nosso jetinho brasileiro might be abolished.
I have witnessed joy and sorrow
In equal measure,
And may I dutifully ask my dear country folks:
What does ‘Freedom’ mean to You ?
O dia sete de setémbro,
O que é isso
Do think about it.
Modernity can come only at the loss of history.
Progress cannot be made without understanding history…