The New Year is a time for beginnings and reflections, cleansings, renewals and new hopes. We open 2019 with a poem and novelist from Brazilian poet Conceição Evaristo. She is widely respected as one of the foremost contemporary writers of Brazil, and one of the foremost of our time. Born in Belo Horizonte (MG) in 1946, she is the author of Ponciá Vicêncio (2003), Becos da Memorial (2006), Poemas da recordação e outros movimentos (2008), Insubmissas lágrimas de mulheres (2011), Olhos d'agua (2014), Histórias de leves enganos e parecenças (2016) and Canção para ninar menino grande (2018).
The voice of my great-grandmother echoed child in the ship's holds. echoed moans of a lost childhood.
The voice of my grandmother echoed obedience to the white people who own everything.
The voice of my mother echoed softly in revolt in the backs of other people's kitchens under the bundles of dirty clothes of white people on the dusty road in the direction of the favela
My voice still echoes perplexing verses with blood rhymes and hunger.
My daughter's voice collect all our voices collects itself the voices mute silent. choked in the throats.
My daughter's voice collects itself speech and act. Yesterday - today - now. In my daughter's voice resonance will be heard the echo of life-freedom.
- published in Cadernos Negros 13, p. 32-33 (1990)