Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Eighth Day of Christmas: Latin American reflection and appeal

It's a miracle: I got the computer to work. Temporarily, anyway.

So here is a brief reflection, taken, like a few of the preceding ones from Mev Puleo's book The Struggle Is One. (I'll insert a hyperlink when I trust that the computer won't go out on me.)

[This information is from the early 1990s.] Maria de Silva Miguel lives in a favela on the edge of Sao Paolo, Brazil. She is a great-grandmother to six young children, two of whom live with her. She started writing poetry when she was sixty-five, and now writes songs for her church and for political demonstrations. A national Brazilian religious magazine recently published one of her songs of struggle, ''The People is Poet." Maria is active in the land movement, the health movement, the local Bible study group and is passionately involved in local women's groups. Born of slaves, Maria is deeply concerned about the continuing oppression of blacks in Brazil. Roughly fifty percent of Brazil's population is black, most of them descendents of slaves. Brazil officially abolished slavery in 1888.

"The People is Poet" by Maria da Silva Miguel

One day a woman cried, "I am a Warrior!"
and the echo of her voice was heard beyond the borders.
I am Woman-Mother and Warrior,
the stove is no longer my limit.
I am called queen of the home,
but I am greater than ocean and sea.
I am Mother, I give life,
I am a Woman, Pain.
I am a Warrior, a Bird—I sing!
I raise up my people and pull them out of slavery,
my name is Liberation!
Whoever wants to find me, I'm not only in the home,
I'm in the struggle, I'm a Warrior!
I am Black, I am Poor, I am Old and nearly Illiterate,
Everyone knows me—
I am the remnant who dreams of happiness and love
I am merely Maria Miguel!

As for the appeal, here it is.

I am going to nag you nicely until Epiphany, but you are getting Latin American reflections in the bargain. In English!

3 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Maria, you are many things, but you are not illiterate.

Lovely, Jane, thanks.

johnieb said...

That is so beautiful; what a Christmas present, these "fund-raisers", you sly fox; "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Maria Miguel is always welcome here; it's a word of the Spirit, I see.

What's se' or 'haev in Hebrew:
anything? It's the code: to post, heh.

johnieb said...

Hi, Mimi, how's whatever's "normal" your way for now? Blessings and peace are with you.