An Old Fisherman in Mozambique and Glória de Sant’Anna

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I just wanted to share a few photographs from our recent Mozambique travels, along with this poem, by a beautiful writer I only learned about today. Her name is Glória de Sant’Anna.  I want to thank Luis R. Mitras, who works for the European Division of the University of Maryland University College, for his beautiful translations of her work, and so generously placing the material online.

He put together a lovely anthology, titled Stained Glass: Poetry from the Land of Mozambique.

Old Fisherman Mozambique travel Africa

The Old Fisherman

by Glória de Sant’Anna
—1989

 
fisherman from the wide sea
with your shoes of seaweed
tell me what you bring in the boat
from where you raise your face
 
your face stained
by the salt of hours spent crying,
give me your fish hauled
from well into the depths of the ocean
 
—in this water there’s no fish—
 
fisherman, give me only one fish
not a grouper or even a giant trevally
only a small silver fish
 
—in this water there are no fish
they all went to search for god
on the sides of Zanzibar—

Beautiful, isn’t it? I love that ending. So powerful.  Unfortunately they have had a lot of battles to combat overfishing along the Mozambican coastline, which has been a decades-long problem. This poem speaks, hauntingly, to that decline.

To read more on overfishing and what’s being done, click here.

One more day before the weekend, readers. Make it count!

Love, Marla

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