Intercontinental Pandemic Numbers. A journal entry with a poem by Renata Kempf

Nothing like a pandemic to make you homesick.
Sixth month away from home and the apocalyptical signs began.
It started here first, the third day of Irish lockdown and I got the message “it’s here, the rich brought it to us” (yep, anyone who can come to Europe will be classified as “the rich”).
With my one (entire) week of quarantine experience, I annoyed my family with “stay home” texts.
Three days passed since the first case there and nothing could make them take it seriously. Nobody cared, nobody was worried…interestingly on that same day, five concerned family members messaged me asking if I was fine.
The first death in the country occurred on the fourth day since the first case was registered. It was the twentieth day since the first case here. My country is bigger and messier, things grow faster there and the effects are and will be way worst.
After four days of jokes, memes and funny videos, our most renowned exportation commodities, people started dying.
And now they believe.
Now it is close to them.
Now my family quarantines in the little farm with the greenest grass and bluest lakes. It is the first day of autumn and the sky couldn’t be bluer. The dogs are happier than ever having everyone home. The Burrowing Owls on my mom’s backyard are walking around protecting their nests. The Rufous Hornero finishes the design of his lovely home-nest, in the highest branch of the oldest Araucaria pine tree he can find.
In this academic paid exile, I keep remembering the words of Gonçalves Dias in the one poem I ever memorized in school…

“Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá;
As aves, que aqui gorjeiam,
Não gorjeiam como lá.

Nosso céu tem mais estrelas,
Nossas várzeas têm mais flores,
Nossos bosques têm mais vida,
Nossa vida mais amores.

Em cismar, sozinho, à noite,
Mais prazer encontro eu lá;
Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.

Minha terra tem primores,
Que tais não encontro eu cá;
Em cismar — sozinho, à noite —
Mais prazer encontro eu lá;
Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.

Não permita Deus que eu morra,
Sem que eu volte para lá;
Sem que desfrute os primores
Que não encontro por cá;
Sem qu’inda aviste as palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.”[1]

Nothing against the grey Galwegian skies, but on this 187th day of Ireland, I could not be more homesick.

[1] “Canção do Exílio” is a poem by Gonçalves Dias published for the first time on the book “Primeiros Cantos” in 1857.


Brazilian doctoral student who usually writes more sciency stuff about women and their farms. Say hi to Renata on twitter.

1 Comment

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for
    the info!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *