The artistry of the green-eyed poet, Elisa Lucinda

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 Note from BW of Brazil: Although one would never know it judging from Brazil’s Eurocentric media, there are a lot of talented black women on the move in this Latin American giant. In fact, there are too many for one blog to handle but BW of Brazil will continue to work and introduce you to some of these women. Brazilians have been familiar with the talented poet, journalist, actress and singer Elisa Lucinda for a number of years. Although she first appeared on television in 1989, she caught my attention when she appeared on an early edition of Raça Brasil magazine, sometime in the 1990s and later after someone shared with me her poem “Mulata Exportação”, rejecting the idea that a white man is no longer racist simply because he has sexual relations with a “mulata”, ie, black woman. Needless to say she’s gone on to various successes since then. Learn a little about her below and be sure to check out the video of her in action. Yes, it’s in Portuguese, but it’ll give you some idea her stage presence. 

The total poetry of Elisa Lucinda

Every poet has a face. Hers is radiant. In part, by the beautiful mixture that gave a black woman  green eyes. But mainly because Elisa Lucinda has an interior light that publicize themselves in her deeply recited words. She moves on stage with the same ease with which her verses move on the page. Many people have seen Elisa in Globo TV novelas (soap operas), the last time in the the award-winning Lado a Lado, written by Claudia Lage and João Ximenes Braga. But  privileged are those to have seen her reciting her poems with perfect diction and fire in her soul. “Since I was little I practiced spoken poetry, I think that there was already exercised the actress who I became. The poet and the actress in me are inseparable,” says Elisa.

Elisa Lucinda in “Parem de Falar Mal da Rotina”

When she was eleven, his mother Divalda referred her to have recital lessons. With Professor Maria Filina, the girl learned that “we should talk with poetry and never imprison the word in only one way to saying (it).” Freeing the word and liberating herself is a recurring purpose in the work of Elisa Lucinda, as evidenced by these verses of her poem “Última Moda”: “(…) I don’t want these receipts/these tags/these prices/these commitments/I don’t have barcodes/ (…) I don’t fit in these boxes/ these definitions/ on these shelves (…)”.

I write to clarify

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No one needs to be a PhD in linguistics or literary theory to relish in Elisa Lucinda’s verses. She can – like almost no one else – write about complex subjects in an extremely clear and beautiful manner. “I seek the most natural way of being and saying. I look for a will for that reality. My poetry is made to reveal, I don’t write to hide anything. I pursue the beauty of words, because beauty is a mandatory condition for a set of words to become poetry”, the writer teaches us.

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Born in Cariacica, in the state of Espírito do Santo on February 2, 1958, she moved to Rio de Janeiro – where she lives today – in her twenties. She took in her suitcase, besides clothes and makeup and necessities, the lessons from her father Lino who loved make puns, besides teaching Portuguese with passion and good humor to his children. In the Cidade Maravilhosa or the Marvelous City (as Rio is known), Elisa Lucinda honed her many talents. She went up to the stage, went before the cameras, raised her voice in songs and poems and wrote incessantly. She says: “The singer, actress and poet are in me. All that I am doesn’t have much mystery or explanation. I’m an artist, I seek to develop my inclinations and expand my possibilities I’m hyperactive without medication…” Modesty is hers, the pleasure is ours.

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My theme is the world

The poet Elisa Lucinda talks about love, pain, passion, frustration, birth, death; these universal themes that accompany the despair and hope of us all. But her poetry doesn’t shy away from dealing with social problems that are quite Brazilian. Racism, sexism, mistreatment of the poor. In the poem “Mulata Exportação” (Exportation Mulata), we read the following verses: “(…) Look here, my master/I remember the senzalas (slave quarters)/ and you remember the Casa-Grande (Big House)/ and together we’ll write sincerely another history/I say, I repeat and I don’t lie/(…) Because to stop being racist, my love /is not fucking a mulata.” What’s her reason of writing poetry about racism? She replies: “Being black in Brazil is very complicated. A lion is killed every day. For in any place and on any counter, the black person can get a look, a word which does not see him/her as a person of the first category.”

Elisa Lucinda

In the same vein, Elisa Lucinda writes about being a woman today: “Many women have died in the past and today are still murdered for making their choices of lovers and partners. I take advantage of the support of many readers of to talk about feminine freedom to speak without the neighbor calling me a whore. Basically, I believe in the power of the word as a weapon and a tool to improve the world. This thing of being bigger or better than the other doesn’t exist.”

Poetry for all

Lucinda's 2010 book "Parem de Falar Mal da Rotina" (Stop speaking badly of the routine), originally a theater piece that attracted over 1 million viewers
Lucinda’s 2010 book “Parem de Falar Mal da Rotina” (Stop speaking badly of the routine), originally a theater piece debuting in 2002 and attracting over 1 million viewers

A striking feature of Elisa Lucinda is not wearing the mask of the poet as a special being, touched by archangels. She is a founder of Casa Poema, headquartered in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. The philosophy of the project – that can be replicated in any corner of Brazil – is based on the idea that poetry, particularly spoken poetry, collaborates with the quality of personal and social lives of people. The audience that participates in workshops and soirees is broad. There are educators, police, young people from the periphery, youth with good income, aspiring writers. “They learn the art of saying verses in a colloquial way. The come to understand the power of the word as a tool for information, expansion of repertoire and formation of citizenship,” Elisa says.

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Beside all these tasks, the singer, actress and poet still finds time to admire her son Juliano Gomes, a young filmmaker of whom she says: “Save that name because many good things will come of him.” At the moment, she also works on promoting her latest book Fernando Pessoa, o Cavaleiro do Nada (the Knight of Nothing). “I wrote about the man Fernando, this world class Portuguese man. No one needs to have a pedigree in literary theory to enjoy my book,” says the lady of the winged words.

Source: Yahoo Mulher

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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