Armando Freitas Filho: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Armando Freitas Filho Brazilian Poet


Armando Freitas Filho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1940. Throughout his career, he has experimented with different poetic practices that range from Concrete Poetry to Poesia Práxis to the Marginal Poetry of the late 1970s mimeograph generation. He has twice been awarded the Jabuti Prize, one of the most important literary prizes in Brazil, and shortlisted on numerous occasions. His work reads through the urban imperatives of human landscapes in the city; a post-modern approach heavily influenced by the modernism of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, the aesthetic rigour of João Cabral de Melo Neto, and Ana Cristina César's experimental portraits of everyday life. His first work, Palavra, was published in 1963.

Your face

Your face
is a piece of music
as the wind
Yet I hear it
from afar, not forgetting
even without seeing
and I follow, by heart
the sigh of this ah-
more torn
blind and alone

In the mirror

In the mirror
unimaginable enigmage?
No. Nor. But.
I will never write myself again.
I will wear grey
a Dorian Grey subject
(occluded) from rain and thunder
and I'll only stop when my blood
shuts its mouth as a whole.
Letters have already saved me
from the precipice:
Black tie, etc.

The city goes on sleeping/awake

The city goes on sleeping/awake
with the lights on
its street-lights, fountains, statues
with all its circuits working
and the sea.
The metro doesn't move a metre.
Only the buses sleepwalk
slow, circular
with no need of direction:
they know their way by heart
they don't even look like the buses that, by day,
run flattened, intersected and in close-up
in the paintings of Collares.

Translated by Francisco Vilhena