ARCHiPELAGOS / Passages
IX. NOSTALGIA AND NOSTOS
Nostalgia: To Parápono tou Metanásti (A Migrant’s Yearning)
Nostalgia: Cantar de Emigração / Singing of Emigration
Alegria / Jubilation
Like an outcast I’m drifting about
in this evil, hostile foreign land,
wandering all around, blue, so unhappy
so far away I’m from my mother’s hug.
Birds cry in despair for air
and trees for water so they’ll grow,
I also cry, sweetheart, the blues for your eyes,
I haven’t seen them for many years.
I long – They say he’s gone…
I long – The other goes…
I long for my homeland…
Departing or staying back home,
The pain is there in your heart.
This one goes, the other goes
and everyone goes abroad,
Galicia, you’re left with no souls
to work and toil your soil.
I long – They say he’s gone…
I long – … gone up North…
I long for my homeland, oh, I long!
… I ignore when he’ll be back
He’ll be for the day of birth
of our own solitude.
• Violeta Parra (1917 – 1967): a Chilean songwriter, ethnomusicologist, folklorist, and visual artist, who pioneered the Chilean New Song (Nueva canción chilena), a renewal and reinvention of local folk music that extended its sphere of influence well beyond Chile, being acknowledged as the Mother of Latin American folk. • Rosalía de Castro (1837 – 1885): a prominent Galician poet and writer, an important figure of the local Romantic movement, known as the Rexurdimento (Renaissance). Her poetry, in Galician, is marked by saudade, an almost ineffable combination of nostalgia, longing and melancholy. Our excerpt is from her poem ¡Pra a Habana! (To Havana!); the original in Galician is as follows: Éste vaise i aquél vaise, / e todos, todos se van, / Galicia, sin homes quedas / que te poidan traballar. • José Niza (1938 – 2011): a Portuguese composer, doctor, and socialist politician. • Armando Soares (1920 – 2007): a Cape Verdean composer, author of the famous song Sodade, which refers to the migration of a group of contract laborers from Cape Verde to São Tomé, where they were treated as slaves, during the Salazar dictatorship.
I can hear shouts in the distance
Speaking the voice of love
How jubilant is the body
Leaving behind all pain
Winds have fled to their shelters
Summer is offering itself
So many fruits also fountains
Plus the sun that’s warming us
I gather jasmins and spikenards
Necklaces made up of roses
And I dance in streets and alleys
All of the prodigious dances
Already smiles have been given
All the turns by now have been taken
Oh certainty of all certainties
Oh jubilation of weddings
• José Saramago (1922 – 2010): a Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. His works, often allegoric, present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. A libertarian communist and atheist, he defended love as an instrument to improve the human condition. He was criticized, however, by institutions such as the Catholic Church, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, with whom he disagreed on various issues. In 1992, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, then Prime Minister of Portugal, ordered the removal of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ from the Aristeion Prize‘s competition, claiming it was religiously offensive. Dismayed by this political censorship of his work, Saramago went into exile on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, in the Canaries, where he lived the rest of his life. • Giorgos Andreou: a Greek composer, lyricist, and sound engineer, who explored the relation of Greek music to Western and Eastern musical idioms. He composed numerous song cycles, based on other Greek poets and lyricists, as well. He also wrote music for the theatre and the cinema. In 2016 he presented his Logbook III, a symphonic work with lyrics taken from the Nobelist Giorgos Seferis’ homonymous poetic work. He worked with the Plucked Strings Orchestra of the Municipality of Patras several times. Since 2000 he serves as the pro bono artistic director of the Festival of Asypalaea, an Aegean island in the Dodecanese.