Ana Valentina Angelo

Luís Vaz de Camões

Sob o céu de Figueira XIV

Hello Figueira,

Fresh air, Queen of Beaches! Walking peacefully on yours streets is a privilege, although the situation in the world is worrying. Coronavirus still haunts the planet.

Despite all the issues related to the pandemic, figueirenses can already move around the streets and do their normal activities as long as they meet the guidelines on the use of masks in a closed environment, respect the predetermined distances and move away from the clusters. Figueira, the presence of your visitors promises, the breeze invites, the waves are delicious, the full moon – two days of waning – graces the blue sky ….

June 10th, a unique day for Portugal

Undoubtedly, June 10th is a special day for the Portuguese people. On this date, Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities from all over the world are honored. It is a long-awaited celebration and, moreover, on June 10, 1982, you, Figueira, were a direct protagonist in the event as you welcomed the celebration of the entire country. That’s why I brought you a gift: Camões soothes one of his loves, Mondego:

Statue of Camões in Lisbon - By Osvaldo Gago - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0

Sweet and Clear Waters of the Mondego¹

Rio Mondego - Foto: Vitor Oliveira

Luiz Vaz de CamõesFree Translation

Sweet clear waters of the Mondego,
sweet rest of my memory,
where the long and perfidious hope
a long time after you brought me blind;

I walk away from you; but I don’t deny
That the long gone remembrance reaches me,
Let me not make you change,
But the longer I stretch, the closer I get

Well may Fortune, this instrument
From the soul, take me to new and strange lands,
Offered to the remote sea, in the wind.

But the soul that accompanies you from here,
In the wings of the slight thought
For you, waters, flies, and bathes in you.

Portugal celebrates its national day

This June 10th, 2020, should also be a celebration, however the sadness for the pandemic did not allow the event the enthusiasm it always has. Despite this, the date has not been forgotten; the Portuguese people were represented by their President of the Republic, at the Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, for the act.

After the raising of the flag, to the sound of the Portuguese National Anthem, flowers were placed on the tomb of Luiz Vaz de Camões; tributes were paid to soldiers killed in the service of the motherland and then the statements by Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça and the President of the Republic, Marcelo de Souza paid tribute to the Portuguese people.

Once again, the President of the Republic called for the strength and determination of the Portuguese people in the face of the great threat posed by the pandemic that is plaguing the planet. He ended his speech by saying that we cannot pretend that the pandemic did not exist, on the contrary, it must be recognized to understand and better combat its consequences.

If I gift you, Figueira, with Camões singing the Mondego, it is only fair that the great poet Camões also be brought to greet the Portuguese saga, contemplating all the Lusophone speakers, from yesterday and today.

Poet's Tomb in Jerônimos

Portugal, So Different From Its First Self² ³

Luiz Vaz de Camões 1577

Luiz Vaz de CamõesFree Translation

The powerful kingdoms and empires,
That in greatness in the world grew the most,
Or by effort value they flourished,
Or by men in the amazing letters.

There was Greece’s Themistocles; famous,
The Scipios magnified Rome;
Twelve Pairs gave France glory;
Cides to Spain, and bellicose Laras.

To our Portugal, which we now see
So different from your first self,
Your brave gave you honor and freedom.

And in you, great successor and new heir
From Braganção state, there are a thousand extremes
Equal to blood and larger than age.