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Jan 2014
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The Green Taste of the Coconut – Poems by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo translated by Mel Rosenberg

by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

Fruits of Brazil


Rounder, barer, undulating

More than this

You will never find.

This Garden of Eden,

All the smooth fruit

Dripping a dark, peach-amber hue.



In the Old City of Salvador de Bahia


Dona Flor, unkempt,

In a dress that denies its buttons

Wafts through the alleys

Winking to each

Of her husbands.


Brazilian Skies


At five in the morning

Brazilian skies

Adopt the color of the sea

And the wind conducts the waves

Flutes by day

Stars by night

That I have never seen.


Girl from Ipanema


He always sings

The Girl from Ipanema

Now his saxophone

Trembles like the waves

When he plays with Enrique

And the guitar sings

How close is the girl from Ipanema

On sands whiter than white

Tall and tan she passes

And he sings Jobim

And he sings the legend

As he never sang before.




The sun rises slowly

From the sea of Copacabana

Behind the mountain islands

Piercing its heart

A grand shimmering silver mirror

Approaches the white sands

Enveloping them with glow.




The sun rises slowly

Throwing long scarves of light

The kingdom of darkness draws back

In deference.


The sun rises slowly

Giving the sea the mountains

The sand the palms the people

Time to worship it.




On the dance floor

He turns her

Maneuvers her

Like a race car

Hand on her back

Fingers steering her hips

Soft, hard

One could dance all night

Sliding between his arms

Around his shoulders

On his thighs



And with that incomparable Latin charm

He drives her with his eyes,

“Where else can we lead, gentlemen?”

He asks,

“Except here on the dance floor?”


The Taste of Coconuts


The taste of coconuts

Is still green on my lips

The samba dances my feet

Among the cariocas

In a small nightclub

The fruits of papaya and desire

In a night that never ended

And the laugh of the morning

Just born.


Shalom, Brazil


Shalom to the taste of her mango lips

The music swaying between her palms

Shalom to her blazing thighs

The dance of love

From dawn to the stars

After having smelled, tasted, drunk,

Overflowing like a river

Ate mais,

Shalom, Brazil.


Poems about Brazil
by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo
Translated by Mel Rosenberg


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