Guinea-Bissau: Regresso| Abel Djassi

Old mama, come and let’s listen

To the beat of the rain against the door

It’s a friendly beat

That pounds in my heart

The rain, our friend, old mama

The rain that hasn’t been falling this way

In a long time I heard that Cidade Velha

The entire island becomes a garden

In just a few days

I heard that the country is covered in green

The most beautiful colour

The colour of hope

That now, the soil really looks like Cape Verde

Peace has now replaced the storm

Come old mama, come

Regain your strengths and come to the door

The rain, our friend, sends its salvation

And can beat in my heart


Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral (also known as Abel Djassi) was a Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean agricultural engineer, writer, activist and politician, widely regarded as one of the most prominent African thinkers of the mid-20th century. Cabral led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands and the subsequent 1962 war of independence in Guinea-Bissau. He was assassinated on 20 January 1973, eight months before Guinea-Bissau’s unilateral declaration of independence.

Culled from: Scottish Poetry Library

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

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