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Luís Lima

Luís Lima

Luís Lima

(Cabo Verde, 1952)

Luís Filipe Cardeal de Lima is a Cape Verdean poet, author and lyricist. 

Collaborations with musicians such as Ramiro Mendes, Paulino Vieira, Toy Vieira and Vaiss make Luis Lima one of the most important poets of Cape Verde, with songs recorded by the most important interpreters such as Cesária Évora, Bana, Ildo Lobo and Tito Paris. 

Luís began writing poems as a child at the age of eight. At that time, he was struck by juvenile rheumatism/arthritis, the disease that would change his life and later leave him paralyzed. At the age of 27, he also lost his eyesight. But neither immobility nor blindness have ever hindered his ability to observe and attune to everyday life and the problems of society and individuals who move and see. Luís Lima's lyrics breathe either the loving lyricism of the morna tradition or a sharp humor in social criticism, of which the irony about café intellectuals, the title track of the album Intelectual (2001), by Ildo Lobo, is a good example. At the age of 14, Luis Lima moved to Portugal, where he remained for many years. He currently lives in São Vicente. 

However, he says that everything he writes is based on Africa and Cape Verde. He thinks of Nelson Mandela who composes “Uma tear e amor”, writes a morna about the mothers of drug addicts (“Voz erguida d'um mae”), plays with the bald head of Ramiro Mendes (“Ser bald”) and with jokes about riddles ("What what"). It was Paulino Vieira who first challenged him to write lyrics for music in the 1980s. The result was Dôr di nha dôr, soon recorded by Bana and which later became the title of a collection of poems. Other composers interested in translating his poetry into music followed, and Vaiss has an album in which ten of the eleven songs are collaborations between the two. Toy Vieira, Palo and Ramiro Mendes are other musicians with whom he collaborated extensively. 

Poems of Luís Lima
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère