Poem of the Boy who had been Torpedoed
This poem was written by Oswaldo Alcantara, a literary pseudonym for Baltasar Lopes de Silva. Before he began writing poetry, he was a Lawyer and philosopher. He was a co-founder of the magazine Claridade, which published local literature of Cape Verde that touched on social issues, cultural biases and local problems. Da Silva also published Chiquinho, The Creole of Cape Verde, and participated in the creation of the Anthology of contemporary Cape Verde fiction.
The poem starts out with the a feeling of hopelessness and an aimless journey with no food or water on the boat. It is through the torpedoed boy that the people in the boat find hope. Because the boy leaves his home and finds nothing, the people are reminded of wanderlust, the desire to stay in Cape Verde but also wanting to leave due to the problems of their home.
This poem was written in 1947, shortly after the end of World War II and is a representation of the idea that Cape Verde is a better place than other countries to live because they did not get caught up in the war. The “proud world” showing off its power is the direct reference to the war, and the they boy dieing because of his involvement symbolizes the idea that it is better to stay in Cape Verde than to leave.