Helena Kolody: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Helena Kolody Brazilian Poetry


Helena Kolody (1912–2004) was a Brazilian poet and educator. Considered to be the outstanding poet of the State of Paraná, she started writing poetry when she was 12 and published her first poem "A Lágrima" four years later. When she was 20, she became a schoolteacher and later, on graduation, a lecturer at the Curitiba Normal School. She is remembered in particular for being the first Brazilian to write verse in the Japanese haiku style, publishing "Cântico" in 1941 and including haiku verse in several later publications.


Man got married to the machine
and created a strange hybrid:
in the chest a chronometer
in the skull a generator.
Red corpuscles of its blood
are rounded algorithms.

Statistical cacti grow
in their abstract gardens.

Precision planning,
life of machine-man.
The gears vibrate with
exertion of its realizations.

In its obscure core
is a strange prisoner,
whose screams agitate
the metallic structure;
blazing are the reflections
of an imponderable light
disturbing the coldness
of the armored machine-man.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus