Traziam poentes e estradas
A sede do horizonte os chamava.
- A quem pertences tu?
Quem são os da tua casa?
Assim estendia nossa avó
A caneca de água ao viajante.
Conceicao Lima
Reproduced by kind permission of the Poetry Translation Centre.
They bore sunsets and roads
Thirst for the horizon called them

– Who do you belong to?
Who are your people?

That’s how our grandmother held out
A mug of water to the traveller
found at Poetry Translation Centre website: literal translation by Stefan Tobler, final translation by The Poetry Translation Workshop Reproduced by kind permission of the Poetry Translation Centre.
Conceicao Lima

Conceição Lima (also known as Maria da Conceição de Deus Lima) was born in the town of Santana in São Tomé. She started writing poems as a teenager and, in 1979, at the age of nineteen, traveled to Angola where she participated in the Sixth Conference of Afro-Asian Writers. São Tomé gained independence in 1975; Lima has become a key voice among post-colonial African lusophone writers.

She studied journalism in Portugal and worked in radio, television and at the São Tomé printing press. She later received a degree in Afro-Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from King's College in London. In 1984 she gained national recognition as one of six São -Toméans included in the anthology A Descoberta das Descobertas ou as Descobertas da Descoberta (The Discovery of the Discoveries or the Discoveries of the Discovery).  In 1993, Conceição Lima founded the independent weekly publication O País Hoje (The Country Today) which she directed and wrote for during its circulation.

Lima lives in London, where she works as a journalist and producer for the BBC Portuguese Language Services. Her poetry has been published in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies in several countries. She has released two collections of poetry: O Útero da Casa (2004) and A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó (2006).

Read more about this poet
About Viajantes

This poem, representing Sao Tome and Principe, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.