Rosaliene Bacchus spotlights the poet Patativa do Assaré, whose poetry was the voice of the Brazilian poor. He was closely aligned with the resistance, standing for workers’ rights and economic justice. He produced utterly amazing oral verse — with no punches held back. Sample:

It is the abyss of the suffering people
where your place is not certain
subject to rigorous exploitation
by con men of base deceit. 

“…The son of poor peasant farmers eking out a subsistence livelihood in the semi-arid hinterlands, known as the sertão, of the Northeast State of Ceará, Patativa began working at an early age on his family’s small plot of land. At the age of four, he lost his sight in one eye due to lack of medical assistance. With his father’s death four years later, he had to work as a farmhand to help his family, leaving him no time to attend school. During his six months of formal education, he learned to read and write…” ~ Rosaliene Bacchus

READ MORE: Patativa do Assaré: Brazil’s Popular Oral Poet | Three Worlds One Vision

Poetry is Soul

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