Rui De Nogar

I. What made the Mozambiquen poet Rui De Nogar such an extreme Marxist? Marxism is the basis of all communisms, the belief in economic equality, and that private property is the basis of evil. For my essay I will address Rui De Nogar’s poetry and his life leading up to becoming the Marxist poet he was. The period in which I will be studying is the late 1940’s to 60’s. I will be using two sources. One is the book, ‘Poets of Mozambique’ by Frederick G. Williams. It’s really good for what I need as it gives a basic background on my poet, including some of his most famous poems. The other Source is a Jstor Journal called, ‘The Audacious Young Poets Of Angola And Mozambique.’ It’s a good source because it gives you a sense of what it was like as a young poet in Portuguese occupied colonies. II. Rui De Nogar was born in 1932 to a Portuguese mother and a Goan father, in a then Lourenco Marques. The Portuguese were very lax about race, meaning a drop of white blood makes you white. This meant Rui De Nogar was treated basically like a white man his entire life, and even died as Cultural Attaché for the Mozambiquen embassy in Lisbon. III. If one thing is clear, it’s the fact that Rui De Nogar felt Mozambiquen, and somehow lost touch with his Portuguese, and Goan ancestry. For example in his Poem titled, ‘Portrait’ he talks about how, “We are yes, Guerrillas… today, we, in Mozambique. As you can see Rui De Nogar felt Mozambiquen. He took the struggle to heart and picked up his pen and paper in order to combat the Portuguese. It is a common theme in Rui’s poems, and I think it’s a way to connect to his readers. In fact I think a lot of what he said was to win the hearts of his readers, because he ended up being the Cultural Attaché of the Mozambiquen Embassy in Portugal, which is not that much of a Marxist thing to do. IV. As stated earlier, Rui De Nogar was a Marxist, but why? Being Goan, yet alone half Portuguese meant that he would have been treated (in Mozambique at least) like a white man. Yet he somehow felt oppression that loomed over Mozambique. Another factor to consider is the fact that Rui De Nogar was raised a catholic his whole life, meaning it would have been odd for him to leave that all behind. Seeing that Rui De Nogar was amongst several other Portuguese/Goan poets, whim also become Marxist makes me believe that there was some sort of movement amongst the youth and that they saw the worst in Portugal and wanted to help out Mozambique, and it was during those times that Frelimo was growing as a communist party, not to mention what had happened in Cuba. With all this communist ideology around them and freedom it is not hard to see why a young poet would feel the need to convert.

V. In conclusion, I think it is hard to tell exactly why the great Poet Rui De Nogar decided to become a Marxist, whether it was the influence of his fellow poets, or maybe Frelimo, it could even of been Cuba’s Fidel Castro. Though one thing is certain, Rui De Nogar felt Mozambiquen even though he would have been treated as a white, living in Mozambique. With that in mind I think (as with many artists) Rui wanted to be heard, and to do that he would write many provocative poems that connected with other freedom fighters in Mozambique. I also think that the Marxism could have been a rebellious phase he was going through, and then settled down in is later years. For future research I would love to look into more of the other young poets of Mozambique as they have such rich intertwining history with each other, and maybe it will help to understand some of Rui De Nogar’s choices.

Bibliography
Hamilton, Russel G. The Audacious young poets of Angola and Mozambique. New York: Puffin Works, n.d. Williams, Frederick G. Poets of Mozambique. New York: Stanly , 1997.