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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 categories -> Settlements: The Caress of the land 11 resources (Cultural categories devised by & © Else R P Vieira)

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Settlements: Cooperatives and production


Zé Pinto


So I shall continue

The flower that touched me most
In the light of my singing
Was a young girl in motion
Who one day dared to dream
And it made you as lovely
As a goddess of the sea

I know that I'm in this camp too
With such a crowd I'm here
I know the struggle still goes on
I know I'll soon have land to seed
But I'll always be sem terra
That's what I'll always be

We'll soon have our co-operative
As others elsewhere do
We'll build a school for the kids to learn
Our own health centre
And a telephone, too

Electricity, and the poetry of a house to dwell in
But I'll always be sem terra
That's what I'll always be
If the force called MST
Really goes on growing
In the fight for land and bread
Building education
Teaching and learning
In this battle for our rights
In a tomorrow so close
So much will change

Freedom will come
The cannons will be silenced
And now we'll just hear song
A melody of love
And if you ask me
Will you no longer be sem terra?
I'll reply: but of course I shall
For it's one thing to be landless
Another to be a Sem Terra
Forever, that is what I'll be.

Poems : Edited by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Bernard McGuirk.


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A first-hand selection, unpublished in Brazil and elsewhere.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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