Torquato Neto: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Torquato Neto Brazilian Poet


Torquato Pereira de Araújo Neto (November 9, 1944 – November 10, 1972) was a Brazilian journalist, poet and songwriter. He is perhaps best known as a lyricist for the Tropicália counterculture movement, which later expanded its influence to Música popular brasileira. He worked with Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Edu Lobo and Waly Salomão. He committed suicide at the age of 28.


I am as I am
a pronoun
from the man I began
at the measure of the impossible

I am as I am
without great secrets beneath
without new secret teeth
at this hour

I am as I am
unleashed, indecent
like a piece of myself

I am as I am
and I live peacefully
all the hours of the end

Let´s Play That

when I was born
a crazy, very crazy angel
came to read my palm
it wasn´t a baroque angel
it was a crazy, crooked angel
with wings like a plane
and behold, this angel told me,
pressing my hand
with a clenched smile:
go on, pal, sing off key
in the happy people´s choir
go on, pal, sing of key
in the happy people´s choir
let´s play that

Translated by Dana Steven