Cattle of the Lord

Cattle of the Lord

Cattle of the Lord

“A poet of immense spiritual, as well as intellectual, curiosity.” —NICKY BEER
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Love. Sex. Death. Meat. Traffic. Pets. In Cattle of the Lord, Rosa Alice Branco offers a stunning poetic vision at once sacred and profane, a rich evocation of daily life troubled by uneasy sacramentality.

In a collection translated by Alexis Levitin and presented in both Portuguese and English, readers find themselves in a world turned upside down: darkly comic, sensual, and rife with contradiction. Here, liturgical words become lovers’ invitations. Cows moo at the heavens. And chickens are lessons on the resurrection.

Over the course of the collection, Branco’s unorthodox—even blasphemous—religious sensibility yields something ultimately hopeful: a belief that the physical, the quotidian, and the animalistic are holy, too. Flesh, in all its meanings—the body of the other, caressed; the animals we abuse, and eat; the sacrificial offering of Christ—demands reverence.

Writing at the boundaries of sense and mystification, combining sensuous lyrics and wit with theological interrogation, Branco breaks down what we think we know about religion, faith, and what it means to be human. “Lord, how much compassion will it take for you,” her speaker cries, “To be godfather at the Sunday barbecue?”

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5.5 × 8.5 × 0.25 in
5 oz
Rosa Alice Branco

Rosa Alice Branco is the prizewinning author of Cattle of the Lord and numerous collections of poems in her native Portuguese, which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic. She teaches at the Institute of Art and Design in Porto, Portugal. 

Alexis Levitin

Alexis Levitin has translated over thirty collections of Portugese poetry and prose into English, including Rosa Alice Branco’s Cattle of the Lord and Salgado Maranhão’s Blood of the Sun. He is a Distinguished Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh.

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