Showing posts with label famous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label famous. Show all posts

Álvares de Azevedo: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Álvares de Azevedo Brazilian Poetry


Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (September 12, 1831 – April 25, 1852), affectionately called "Maneco" by his close friends, relatives and admirers, was a Brazilian Romantic poet, short story writer, playwright and essayist, considered to be one of the major exponents of Ultra-Romanticism and Gothic literature in Brazil. His works tend to play heavily with opposite notions, such as love and death, platonism and sarcasm, sentimentalism and pessimism, among others, and have a strong influence of Musset, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Goethe and – above all – Byron.

If I died tomorrow 

If I died tomorrow, at least I would

close my sad sister;

My longing mother would die

If I died tomorrow!

How much glory I foresee in my future!

What a dawn to come and what a morning!

I would have lost these crowns crying

If I died tomorrow!

What a sun! what a blue sky! what sweet n’alva

Nature wakes up more praise!

It wouldn’t hit me so much in the chest

If I died tomorrow!

But this pain of life that devours

The craving for glory, the aching zeal …

The pain in the chest would be silent at least

If I died tomorrow!

My Misfortune

My misfortune, no, is not being a poet,

Not even in the land of love not having an echo,

And my angel of God, my planet

Treat me like a doll …

It is not walking on broken elbows,

Having a pillow as hard as stone …

I know … The world is a lost bog

Whose sun (I wish!) Is money …

My disgrace, O candid maiden,

What makes my chest so blasphemous,

Is to have to write a whole poem,

And not to have a jew for a candle.

Her Scarf

When the first time, from my land

I left the nights of loving charm,

My sweet lover sighing My

eyes damp with tears.

A romance sang goodbye,

But longing dulled the song!

Tears wiped her beautiful eyes …

And she gave me the handkerchief that dipped her tears.

How many years have passed yet!

Do not forget but love so holy!

I still keep it in a perfumed safe

Her handkerchief that wet the tears …

I never met her again in my life.

I, however, my God, loved her so much!

Oh! when I die spread on my face

The handkerchief that I also bathed in tears!

Translated by (?)

Castro Alves: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry


Castro Alves Brazilian Poet


Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves (14 March 1847 – 6 July 1871) was a Brazilian poet and playwright, famous for his abolitionist and republican poems. One of the most famous poets of the "Condorism", he won the epithet of "O Poeta dos Escravos" ("The Poet of the Slaves"). He is the patron of the 7th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

The Black Ship Part 1.

We are on the high sea… Mad in space

The moonlight plays - golden butterfly;

And the waves run after it. . . tiring

As a band of frenzied infants.

We are on the high sea… From the firmament

The stars jump like foam of gold. . .

The sea in exchange lights phosphorescence,

- Constellations of liquid treasure…

We are on the high sea… Two infinites

There narrowed in an insane embrace,

Blue, golden, placid, sublime ..

Which of the two is ocean? Which sky?…

We are on the high sea ... Opening the sails,

To the warm breath of the maritime winds,

Sail-boat brig runs to the flower of the seas

Like the swallows brush in the wave…

From where do you come? Where do you go? Of the wandering ships

Who knows the course if the space is so immense?

On this Sahara wild horses the dust raise,

Gallop, soar, but leave no trace.

Happy the one who can there, at that hour,

Feel from this panel the majesty!

Below - the sea, above - the firmament!…

And in the sea and in the sky - the immensity!

Oh! what sweet harmony the breeze brings to me!

What soft music from distance sounds!

My God! how sublime an ardent song is

Through the endless waves drifting without destiny!

Men of the sea! Oh rude sailors,

Toasted by the sun of the four worlds!

Children who the storms lull to sleep

In the cradle of these deep abysses!

Wait! wait! let me drink

This wild, free poetry,

Orchestra - is the sea, that roars by the prow

And the wind, that whistles in the ropes.

Why do you retreat so, sprightly boat?

Why do you evade the diffident poet?

Oh! if I only could follow your course

That reflects on the sea— mad comet!

Albatross! Albatross! Eagle of the ocean,

You who sleep in the mist of the clouds,

Shake your feathers, leviathan of space

Albatross! Albatross! give me those wings.

The Black Ship Part 2.

What matters the sailor’s cradle,

Where from he is son, where is his home?

Loves the cadence of the verse

Which the old sea teaches him!

Sing! Because death is divine!

The brig slides the bowline

Like a fast dolphin.

Tight to the mizzen mast

A nostalgic flag signs

To the waves left behind.

From the Spanish, the canticles

Broken in a languorous dance,

Remind the dark young women,

The blooming Andalusians!

From Italy, the indolent son,

Sings a sleeping Venice,

- Land of love and betrayal,

Or from the gulf in its lap

Reminds the verses of Tasso,

By the lava of a volcano!

The Englishman - cold sailor,

Since birth in the sea,

(For as England is a ship, which

God in the Channel anchored),

Vigorous, recites his country’s glories,

Remembering, proud, histories

Of Nelson and Aboukir…

The Frenchman - predestined -

Sings the glories of the past

And the honours of tomorrow!

The Hellenic sailors,

Whom the Ionic wave created,

Beautiful dark pirates

From the sea that Ulysses crossed,

Men that Phydias engraved,

Keep on singing in the clear night

Verses that Homer moaned…

Sailors from all lands,

You know how to find on the waves

The melodies of Heaven!

The Black Ship Part 3.

Descend from the immense space, oh ocean’s eagle!

Descend more…even more…no human glance can

Like yours, to dive into a flying brig!

But what do I see there…such a picture of sorrows!

It is a funeral chant!…what direful figures!

Such an infamy and evil scene…My God! My God! What a horror!


Translated by Mariza G. Góes

Mário de Andrade: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Mário de Andrade Brazilian Poet


Mário Raul de Morais Andrade (October 9, 1893 – February 25, 1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. One of the founders of Brazilian modernism, he virtually created modern Brazilian poetry with the publication of his Paulicéia Desvairada (Hallucinated City) in 1922. He has had an enormous influence on modern Brazilian literature, and as a scholar and essayist—he was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology—his influence has reached far beyond Brazil.

Thiago de Mello: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Thiago de Mello Brazilian Poet


Amadeu Thiago de Mello (Born in Barreirinha, March 31, 1926) is a Brazilian poet and translator. He is one of the most influential and respected poets in the country, recognized as an icon of regional literature. It has works translated into more than thirty languages. Imprisoned during the dictatorship (1964-1985), he went into exile in Chile, finding a friend and collaborator in Pablo Neruda.

Caetano Veloso: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Caetano Veloso Brazilian Poet


Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso (born August 7, 1942) is a Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist. Veloso first became known for his participation in the Brazilian musical movement Tropicalismo, which encompassed theatre, poetry and music in the 1960s, at the beginning of the Brazilian military dictatorship that took power in 1964. He has remained a constant creative influence and best-selling performing artist and composer ever since. Veloso has won nine Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammy Awards. On November 14, 2012, Veloso was honored as the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Gilberto Gil: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Gilberto Gil Brazilian Poet


Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (born 26 June 1942), known professionally as Gilberto Gil, is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political activism. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil's Minister of Culture in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Gil's musical style incorporates an eclectic range of influences, including rock, Brazilian genres including samba, African music, and reggae.

Gonçalves Dias: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Gonçalves Dias Brazilian Poet


Antônio Gonçalves Dias was a Brazilian Romantic poet, playwright, ethnographer, lawyer and linguist. A major exponent of Brazilian Romanticism and of the literary tradition known as "Indianism", he is famous for writing "Canção do exílio" (arguably the most well-known poem of Brazilian literature), the short narrative poem I-Juca-Pirama, the unfinished epic Os Timbiras, and many other nationalist and patriotic poems that would award him posthumously with the title of national poet of Brazil. He was also an avid researcher of Native Brazilian languages and folklore. He is the patron of the 15th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Cruz e Sousa: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Cruz e Sousa Brazlian Poet


João da Cruz e Sousa (24 November 1861 – 19 March 1898) was a Brazilian poet and journalist, famous for being one of the first Brazilian Symbolist poets ever. A descendant of African slaves, he has received the epithets of "Black Dante" and "Black Swan". He is the patron of the 15th chair of the Academia Catarinense de Letras.


Oh pale, white Forms, clear Forms
of moonlight, snow, and mist!...
Oh vague, fluid, translucent Forms...
Incense burning on altars...

Forms set with pure, bright lights
of the love of Virgins and vaporous Saints...
Wandering brilliances, drenched coolnesses
and sorrows of lilies and of roses...

Indescribable music from heaven,
harmonies of Color and of Fragrance...
Sunset's hesitant last moments,
Requiem for the Sun in Light's Pain...

Visions, psalms and peaceful hymns,
muffled sounds of organs, sobbing...
Suspension of sensual malices
morbid, ecstatíc, subtle and soothing...

Infinite spirits, scattered,
inexpressible, Edenic, ethereal,
fertilize the Mystery of these verses
with the ideal flame of all mysteries.

Let the Dream's bluest gauzes
be bright let the Stanza be exalted
and let the emotions, the chastities
of the soul of Verse, sing in these verses.

Let the gold pollen of the finest stars
fill and inflame the rhyme with clear passion...
Let the purification of alabasters glisten
sonorously, luminously.

Primitive forces, essences, grace
in women's bodies, kindnesses...
Ali those auras that flow from Ether
in waves of rose-scented, gilded currents...

Crystals flawed by eager flashes,
desires, vibrations, longings, gusts
of courage, bitter triumphs, dark conquests,
the most peculiar quiverings...

Dark flowers of boredom and vague flowers
of empty, unwholesome, elusive loves...
Crimson depths of old sores,
open, bleeding in rivers...

Let all! alive, nervous, hot, and strong,
in the Dream's fantastical whirlpool
pass singing before Death's occult
confusion and terrible profile...

Translated by Nancy Vieira Couto

Acrobat of Pain

Chortle, laugh, in a laughter of storm
like a clown who, lanky and nervous,
laughs, in an absurd laughter, inflated
with violent irony and pain.

With that atrocious and bloody guffaw—:
rattle the jester's bells, convulsing.
Jump, puppet: jump, clown, pierced
by the stertor of this slow agony—

You're asked for an encore, and that's not to be sneered at.
Come on! Tighten the muscles up, tighten up
in these macabre steel pirouettes...

And though you fall on the ground, quivering,
drowned in your hot and seething blood,
laugh! Heart, saddest of clowns.

Translated by Flavia Vidal

Sacred Hatred

Oh, my hatred, my majestic hatred,
my holy and pure and benevolent hatred,
annoint my forehead with your great kiss,
render me humble and render me lofty.

Humble, but generous to the humble:
lofty to those beings without Desire,
without Goodness, without Faith, without the gleam
of the fertilizing, affectionate sun.

Oh, my hatred, my blessed standard-banner
waving in the infinity of my soul,
beyond other sacred banners.

Sound, hatred: good hatred! Be my shield
against the villains of Love, who defame everything,
from the seven towers of the mortal Sins!

Translated by Flavia Vidal

Jorge de Lima: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Jorge de Lima Brazilian Poet


Jorge Mateus de Lima (April 23, 1893 – November 15, 1953) was a Brazilian politician, physician, poet, novelist, biographer, essayist, translator and painter. His poetry was initially composed in Alexandrine form, but he later became a modernist.

The Words Will Ressurrect

The words have grown old inside men
And separated into islands,
The words have mummified in the mouths of legislators;
The words have rotted in the promises of tryants;
The words mean nothing in the speeches of politicians.
And Word of God is one despite the sacrilege
of the men of Babel,
Despite the sacrilege of the men of today.
And can it be that the immortal word will sicken?
And can it be that the great Semitic word will disappear?
And can it be that the poet was not designated to give
the word new life?
To pick it from the surface of the waters and offer it
again to the men of the continent?
And was he not appointed to restore its essence,
and to reconstitute its magic content?
Does the poet not see the communion of languages,
When men will reconquer the attributes lost with The Fall,
And when the nations founded after Babel will be destroyed?
When all the confusion is undone,
Will the poet not speak form wherever he is,
To all men on earth, in one single language —
the language of the Spirit?
But should you live sunk in time and in space,
You sill not understand me, brother!

The River And The Serpent

The river and the serpent are mysterious, my son.
On the top of the mountain
Were two circles of the Eternal.
One circle was the serpent.
The other circle was the river:
Both precipitated,
Both came searching for man,
One to purify him,
The other to poison him..
Down there they both found
The simple man.
One offered him the Fish to feed him,
The other offered him the fruit to intoxicate him.
The river and the serpent are mysterious, my son.
From the clowds they precipitated,
Both are crawling on the earth
Like the two ways of man,
For him to choose as his guide.
The river and the serpent are mysterious my son:
They come from the beginning of things,
They run towards the end of everything
And sometimes in the water of the river
You will find the black serpent.
Things were simple, my son,
But they became confused:
The river that washes you
Can also drown you,
For under the appearance of the river
Slides the serpent.
The river and the serpent are mysterious, my son:
In the brightening they were two circles,
From there they came uncoiled.

The Sleep Before

Stop everything that keeps me form sleep:
Those cranes in the night,
that violent wind,
The last thought of those suicides.
Stop everything that keeps me from sleep:
Those infernal ghosts that open my eyelids,
This acceleration of my hear,
This echoing of things deserted and dumb.
Stop everything that keeps me from returning
to the sunlit sleep
That God gave me
Before He created me.

Translated by John Nist

Machado de Assis: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Machado de Assis Brazilian Poet


Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known by his surnames as Machado de Assis, Machado, , was a pioneer Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer, widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature. Nevertheless, Assis did not achieve widespread popularity outside Brazil during his lifetime. In 1897 he founded and became the first President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. He was multilingual, having taught himself French, English, German and Greek in later life.

Vicious Circle

The firefly danced in the air impatiently:
"Oh how I wish that I could be that yellow,
That burns in the eternal blue, a candle far!"
And yet the star gazed on the moon with jealousy:

"If only I could copy such transparency,
Which, from the Grecian column to the Gothic sill,
Has contemplated lovers' faces sighingly!"
And yet the moon gazed on the sun with bitter will:

"Oh misery! If l could be that giant ball,
Immortal clarity, the sum of all that's light!"
The sun, though, leans his brilliant chaplet o´er the wall:

I´m burdened by this numen's aureole bright…
Pm wearied by this blue, unbounded parasol…
Why could I not be born a firefly at night?"

To Carolina

My sweet, here at the foot o fyour last bed
In which you're resting now from your long life,
I've come and always will, poor dearest wife,
To bring you the companion's heart you wed.

It pulses from affection tried and true
And which, despite all human drudgery,
Had made our life's existence ecstasy
And brought our home a world for me and you.

I bring you flowers,—remnants plucked now faded
From earth that saw us jointly walk this way
And now has left us dead and separated.

If l, within my wounded eyes today
Still carry thoughts of life I´d formulated,
Those thoughts once lived, but now they've gone away.

The Devil´s Wedding

In ímitation of the German

Satan had the thought one day
To marry. How original!
He wished no ugly woman, nay,
A faithful soul, and virginal.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

But he resolved upon this project,
Desired to see it come to pass,
And so he sought to win the object
That met his tastes, a bonny lass.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

He cut his nails, he cut his tail,
He cut his horns, and then somehow
Our devil turned into a male
A hero of all heroes now.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

To marry was his sole desire;
He traveled over sea and land,
He found a beauty to inspire
And made arrangements for her hand.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

He was willing, she agreed,
They joined each other's hands asxone,
In harmony they did succeed
To tie the knot; the deed was done.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

A year went by, and Satan found,
No parts grew back, nothing at all,
No nails, no tail that curved around ...
Except his horns, yes they grew tall.

Take the counsel of a friend,
No marriage, Beelzebub, pursue;
Because a woman, as she's human
Is finer more genteel than you.

Translated by Frederic G. William

Henriqueta Lisboa: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Henriqueta Lisboa Brazilian Poet


Henriqueta Lisboa (1901–1985) was a Brazilian writer. She was awarded the Prêmio Machado de Assis for her lifetime achievement by the Brazilian Academy of Letters. She is famous for her well-chosen words to create powerful poems. Her early lyrics deal with traditional poetic themes, while her later poems like Echo, she mysteriously magnifies the effect of a single image.


A salt stone
becomes part of the ocean — very little! —

The soul remained lighter
than the body.

The music, far beyond
the instrument.

Of the lever,
its reason of being: the impetus.

Only the seal remains, the finishing
of the work.

The light which survives the star
and is its crown.

The wonderful. The immortal.

What I lost was so little.
But it was what I loved best.

On The Blind Man

For me the saddest event
is not to see in your eyes
this veil of mist
which hides the performance from you
But your ineptitude, the ineptitude
with which you neglect the display.


Even now and always
the complaisant love.

In profile from the front
with life everlasting.

And if more absent
at every moment

so much more present
as time goes by

to the soul that allows
in the greatest silence

to keep it inside
the burning dimness

without forgetfulness
never forever


Translated by Hélcio Veiga Costa

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

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

Arnaldo Antunes: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Arnaldo Antunes Brazilian Poet


Arnaldo Antunes (September 2, 1960) is a Brazilian musician, writer, and composer. He has published poetry and had his first book published in 1983. Antunes's poetry is the magic, he wields with apparently simple elements combines into challenging verbal artifacts. The polysemous of words is abounds in Antunes's poetry. Antunes also has worked with concrete and digital poetics over the years,  he most notable for the sheer diversity of his work.


All things in 
the world don't 
fit into an one
idea. But every-
thing fits in one 
word, in this 
word fits everything.

Translated by Jéssica Iancoski

Ana Cristina Cesar: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Ana Cristina Cesar Brazilian Poet


Ana Cristina César (June 2, 1952 – October 29, 1983) was a poet, literary critic and translator from Rio de Janeiro. She came from a middle-class Protestant background and was usually known as "Ana C." She had written since childhood and developed a strong interest in English literature. She spent some time in England in 1968 and, on returning to Brazil, she became a published author of note. She is considered one of the main names of the mimeograph generation, also known as the marginal poetry of the 1970s.

First Lesson

The genres of poetry are: lyric, satirical, didactic,
epic, light.
The lyric genre comprises lyricism.
Lyricism is the translation of a subjective feeling, sincere
and personal.
It is the language of the heart, of love.
Lyricism is also so named because in other times
sentimental verses were declaimed to the sound of
the lyre.
Lyricism can be:
a) Elegiac, when it treats sad matters, almost always death.
b) Bucolic, when verse about rustic subjects.
c) Erotic, when verse about love.
Elegiac lyricism comprises the elegy, the dirge, the
threnody, the epitaph, and the epicedium, or funeral
Elegy is poetry which treats dolesome topics.
The dirge is poetry in homage to a dead person.
It was declaimed beside a bonfire on which the corpse was
Threnody is a poetry which reveals the heart's sorrows.
Epitaph is a short verse form engraved on tombstones.
Epicedium is a poetry which relates to the life
of a dead person.
I look for a long while at a poem's body
until I lose sight of whatever is not body
and feel, separated between my teeth,
a filament of blood
on my gums

Translated by John K

Ladies’ Talk

I don’t even need to marry
I get all I need from him
I won’t leave here anymore
I really doubt it
This subject of women has come to an end
The cat ate it and enjoyed himself
He dances just like a barrel organ
The writer no longer exists
But also doesn’t have to become a god
Someone’s at the house
Do you think he can stand it?
Mr. Tenderness is knocking
I couldn’t care less
Conspiring: I answer back again
Trap: dying to know
She’s strange
Also you lie too much
He’s stalking me
Who did you sell your time to?
I don’t really know: I slept with that klutz
It makes no sense at all
But what about the gig?
He’s being a good boy
I think it’s an act
Don’t even start

Translated by Brenda Hillman


The heart has little irony in the late afternoon
Carnal secrets on the surface of the skin
skinny poems, just waiting

Life refuses to carry itself off to the hills
holes dug by weasels
grass flowering

In the pool the heart has almost no breath left
In the yards it fires wet
In closed rooms it avoids car horns

Life is put in charge of the windows
But it ends up plummeting in a rush
It does not fit Gives no support Is weightless

Translated by John K

Paulo Leminski: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Paulo Lesminski Brazilian Poet


Paulo Leminski Filho (August 24, 1944 – June 7, 1989) was a Brazilian poet, translator, literary critic, biographer, teacher and judoka. He was noted for his avant-garde work, an experimental novel and poetry inspired in concrete poetry, as well as abundant short lyrics derived from haiku and related forms. Leminski was a polyglot; he knew French, English, Spanish, Japanese, Latin and Greek. He translated into Portuguese works by Petronius, John Fante, Alfred Jarry, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Yukio Mishima.


in me
I see
the other
and another
finally dozens
trains passing
wagons full of hundreds of people

the other
what's in me is you
and you

just as
I am in you
I am in him
in us
and only when
we are in us
we are at peace
even if we are alone

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Deep Inside

Deep inside, in the deep,
in the deep, inside,
we would like
to see our problems
solved by decree

from this date on,
sorrow with no remedy
might as well be void
and in it - perpetual silence

extinguished by law any remorse,
damned you who look back,
behind there is nothing,
and nothing more

but problems are not solved,
problems have many heirs,
and on Sundays they all go to take a walk
the problem, his lady
and other tiny little problems.

Translated by Ane Montarroyos and Greg Berry


An Arctic poem,
Of course, that is what I want.
A pale practice,
Three verses in ice.
A surface-phrase
Where no life-phrase
Will be possible.
No more phrases. None.
A null lyre,
Reduced to the purest minimum,
A blink of the soul,
The only unique thing.
But I speak. And, in speaking, I cause
Clouds of equivocations
(Or a swarm of monologues?)
Yes, winter, we are alive.

Translated by Lavinia Saad

Hilda Hilst: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Hilda Hilst Brazilian Poet


Hilda Hilst (April 21, 1930 – February 4, 2004) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, and playwright. She is lauded as one of the most important Portuguese-language authors of the twentieth century. Her work touches on the themes of mysticism, insanity, the body, eroticism, and female sexual liberation. Hilst greatly revered the work of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and the influence of their styles like stream of consciousness and fractured reality in her own work. In several of her writings Hilst tackled politically and socially controversial issues, such as obscenity, queer sexuality, and incest.

Poems for the Men of our Time

Beloved life, my death lingers
What to say to man
What journey to propose? Kings, ministers
And all of you, politicians,
What word besides gold and darkness
Stays in your ears?
Besides your RAPACITY
What do you know
Of the souls of men?
Gold, conquest, profit, deception
And our bones
And the blood of peoples
And the lives of men
Between your teeth.


To meet you, Man of my time,
And in the hope you may subdue
The rosette of fire, hatred, and wars,
I will sing to you eternally in the hope of knowing you
one day
And invite the poet and all those lovers of words, and
the others,
Alchemists, to sit with you at your table.
Things will be simple and round, fair. I will sing to you
My own crudeness and earlier unease,
Appearances, the lacerated love of men
My own love is yours
The mystery of the rivers, earth, seed.
I will sing to you the One who made me a poet and
promised me

Compassion and tenderness and peace on Earth
If within you still resides these gifts he gave you.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Of Desire

Because there is desire within me, everything glimmers.
Before, daily life was thinking of heights
Seeking Another decanted
Deaf to my human bark.
Sap and sweat, they never came to be.
Today, flesh and bones, laborious, lascivious
You take my body. And what rest you give me
After the readings. I dreamt of cliffs
When there was a garden by my side.
I thought of climbs where there were no signs.
Ecstatic, I fuck you
Instead of yapping at Nothingness.

Translated by Lavinia Saad

Ten Calls to a Friend

If I seem to you nocturnal and imperfect
Look at me again. Because tonight
I looked at myself as if you were looking at me.
And it was as if water

To leave your house that is the river,
Just slipping by, not even touching the riverbank.

I looked at you. And it has been so long
That I understand that I am earth. It has been so long
That I wait
For your brotherly body of water
To stretch over mine. Pastor and naut

Look at me again. From a lesser height.
And more attentively.

Translated by Lavinia Saad

João Cabral de Melo Neto: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

João Cabral de Melo Neto Brazilian Poet


João Cabral de Melo Neto (January 6, 1920 – October 9, 1999) was a Brazilian poet and diplomat, and one of the most influential writers in late Brazilian modernism. He was awarded the 1990 Camões Prize and the 1992 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the only Brazilian poet to receive such award to date. He was considered until his death a perennial competitor for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Melo Neto's works are noted for the rigorous, yet inventive attention they pay to the formal aspects of poetry. He derives his characteristic sound from a traditional verse of five or seven syllables (called ‘’redondilha’’) and from the constant use of oblique rhymes. His style ranges from the surrealist tendency which marked his early poetry to the use of regional elements of his native northeastern Brazil.

Weaving The Morning

One rooster cannot weave a morning.
He will always need other roosters:
one to catch the cry that he
and toss it to another, another rooster
to catch the cry that a rooster before him
and toss it to another, and other roosters
that with many other roosters crisscross
the sun threads of their rooster cries,
so that the morning, form a tenuous tissue,
will grow by he weaving of all the roosters.


And enlarging into a fabric involving all,
erecting itself into a tent where all may enter,
extending itself for all, in the canopy
(the morning) that floats without any frame:
the morning, a canopy made of a weave so airy
that, one woven, it rises by itself: balloon light.

Translated by Richard Zenith

Sprechless Rivers

When a river cuts, it cuts completely
the discourse its water was speaking;
cut, the water breaks into pieces,
into pools of water, paralyzed water.
Situated in a pool, water resembles
a word in its dictionary situation:
isolated, standing in the pool of itself
and, because I is standing, stagnant.
Because it is standing, it is mute,
and mute because it doesn´t communicate,
because this river´s syntax, the current
of water o which it ran, was cut.


The course of a river, its river-discourse,
can rarely be swiftly restored;
a river needs considerable water current
to remake the current which made it.
Unless the grandiloquence of a flood
imposes for a time another language,
a river needs many currents of water
for all of its pools to be phrase —
being restored from one pool to the next
into short phrases, then phrase to phrase,
until the river-sentence of the only discourse
in which it can speak will defy the drought.

Translated by Yves Boonefoy


My eyes have telescopes
trained on the street
trained on my soul
a mile away.

Women come and go swimming
in invisible rivers.
Cars like blind fish
compose my mechanical visions.

For twenty years I've not said the word
I always expect from me.
I´ll go on indefinitely gazing
at the portrait of me, dead.

Translated by W. S. Merwin

Oswald de Andrade: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Oswald de Andrade Brazilan Poet


José Oswald de Souza Andrade (January 11, 1890 – October 22, 1954) was a Brazilian poet novelist and cultural critic. He was born and spent most of his life in São Paulo. Andrade was one of the founders of Brazilian modernism. He participated in the Week of Modern Art (Semana de Arte Moderna). Andrade is particularly important for his Manifesto Antropófago (Anthropophagist Manifesto), published in 1928. Its argument is that colonized countries, such as Brazil, should ingest the culture of the colonizer and digest it in its own way.

Portuguese error

When the Portuguese arrived
In pouring rain
They clothed the Indian
What a shame!
Had it been a sunny morning
The Indian would have stripped
The Portuguese.

Song of going home

My land has palm trees
Where the sea twitters
The little birds over here
Don’t sing like those over there
My land has more roses
And almost more lovers
My land has more gold
My land has more land
Gold land love and roses
I want everything my land has
God don’t let me die
Before going back home
God don’t let me die
Without seeing 15th Street again
And the progress of Sao Paulo.

The discovery

We followed our course on that long sea
Until the eighth day of Easter
Sailing alongside birds
We sighted land
the savages
We showed them a chicken
Almost frightening them
They didn’t want to touch it
Then they took it, stupefied
it was fun
After a dance
Diogo Dias
Did a somersault
the young whores
Three or four girls really fit very nice
With long jet-black hair
And shameless tits so high so shapely
We all had a good look at them
We were not in the least ashamed.

Translated by Natalie d’Arbeloff