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

Adélia Prado: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Adélia Prado Brazilian Poet


Adélia Luzia Prado Freitas (born 13 December 1935) is a Brazilian writer and poet. Her poetry was "discovered" in 1976, when at the age of 40 she sent a small collection of her poems to poet Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna. De Sant'Anna passed her work on to the Brazilian modernist poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who read it and proclaimed in his weekly newspaper column. In describing her work, Robert Hass said "Brazil has produced what might seem impossible: a really sexy, mystical, Catholic poet."


My mother thought study
the grandest thing in the world.
It is not.
The grandest thing in the world is feeling.
That night, father working overtime,
she said to me:
"Poor man, such an hour, and still hard at work."
She prepared bread and coffee, left a saucepanful of hot water on the
No mention was made of love.
That luxury word.

Translated by David Coles


Poetry will save me.
I feel uneasy saying this, since only Jesus
is Savior, as a man inscribed
(of his own free will)
on the back of the souvenir crucifix he brought home
from a pilgrimage to Congonhas.
Nevertheless, I repeat: Poetry will save me.
It's through poetry that I understand the passion
He had for us, dying on the cross.
Poetry will save me, as the purple of flowers
spilling over the fence
absolves the girl her ugly body.
In poetry the Virgin and the saints approve
my apocryphal way of understanding words
by their reverse, my decoding the town crier's message
by means of his hands and eyes.
Poetry will save me. I won't tell this to the four winds,
because I'm frightened of experts, excommunication,
afraid of shocking the fainthearted. But not of God.
What is poetry, if not His face touched
by the brutality of things?

Translated by Ellen Watson

The Mystical Rose

The first time
I became conscious of form,
I said to my mother:
“Dona Armanda has a basket in her kitchen
where she keeps tomatoes and onions”
and began fretting that even lovely things
eventually spoil,
until one day I wrote:
“It was here in this room that my father died,
here that he wound the clock
and rested his elbows
on what he thought was the windowsill
but was the threshold of death.”
I understood that words grouped like that
made it possible to live without
the things they describe,
that my father was returning, indestructible.
It was as if someone had painted a picture
of Dona Armanda’s basket and said:
“Now you can eat the fruit.”
So, there is order in the world!
—where does it come from?
And why does order, which is joy itself,
and bathes in a different light
than the light of day,
make the soul sad?
We must protect the world from time’s corrosion,
cheat time itself.
And so I kept writing: “My father died in this room…
Night, you can come on down,
your blackness can’t erase this memory.”
That was my first poem.

Translated by Alison McGhee

Ferreira Gullar: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Ferreira Gullar Brazilian Poet


José Ribamar Ferreira (September 10, 1930 – December 4, 2016), known by his pen name Ferreira Gullar, was a Brazilian poet, playwright, essayist, art critic, and television writer. In 1959, he was instrumental in the formation of the Neo-Concrete Movement. Gullar was considered one of the most influential Brazilians of the 20th century by Época magazine. The magazine recalls its critical stance in opinion articles about the populism of former President Lula da Silva, posted in national newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.

There are Many Traps in the World

There are many traps in the world
and what is a trap could be a refuge
and what is a refuge could be a trap

Your window, for instance,
opens to the sky
and a star tells you that man is nothing
or the morning foaming on the beach
batters it, before Cabral, before Troy
(four centuries ago Tomás Bequimão
took the city, created a popular militia
and then was betrayed, jailed, hanged)

There are many traps in the world
and many mouths telling you
that life is short-lived
that life is crazy
And why not the Bomb? they ask you.
Why not the Bomb to end it all, since
life is crazy?

Yet, you look at your son, the little kid
who doesn't know
who fearlessly enters life and wants
and seeks the sun, the ball, fascinated, sees
the airplane and questions and questions

Life is short-lived
life is crazy
but there's nothing but life
And you couldn't kill yourself, that's the truth.

You're a prisoner of life as if in a cage.
We're all prisoners
in this cage that Gagarin was the first to see
from above, and to tell us: It's blue.
And we already knew it, so well
that you couldn't kill yourself and wouldn't
kill yourself
and will endure until the end.

It's certain that in this cage there are those who have
and those who have not
there are those who have so much that they alone could
feed the whole city
and those who haven’t enough for today's lunch

The star is a liar
the sea is a sophist. In fact,
man is tied to life and needs to live
man has hunger
and needs to eat
man has children
and needs to care for them
There are many traps in the world and
it's necessary to shatter them.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus


Half of me
Is everyone:
The other half is nobody:
Bottomless and alone

Half of me is
A crowded park:
The other half is
Lonely and dark

Half of me is
Balance and reason,
The other half:

Half of me
Enjoys supper at night,
The other half
Is always surprised

Half of me
Is always there
The other half is
Suddenly aware

Half of me
Is all vertigo
The other half:
Translating both parts
Into one another
-a matter of life or death-

is it art?

Translated by Rita Cammarota

My people, my poem

My people and my poem grow together
Like the fruit bears
Itself the new tree

In the people my poem sprouts
Like in the fields
Sugar cane sprouts green

In the people, my poem is ripe
Like the sun
In the future´s tide

My people is reflected
On my poem
Like the corn
Fuses with the fertile soil

To my people, its poem I bestow
Not as one who sings
But as one who sows

Translated by Rita Cammarota

Cora Coralina: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Cora Coralina Brazilian Poet


Cora Coralina is the pseudonym of the Brazilian writer and poet Anna Lins dos Guimarães Peixoto Bretas (August 20, 1889 – April 10, 1985). She is considered one of the most important Brazilian writers. Her first book (Poemas dos Becos de Goiás e Estórias Mais) was published in June 1965. She spent her working life as a confectioner in a small bakery, and where she drew upon her experiences of rural Brazilian culture to create her rich poetic prose, often featuring the Brazilian countryside, and in particular focusing upon life of the citizens who lived in the small towns across the state of Goiás.

Learn To Live

I don’t know... If life is short
or too long for us.
But I know that nothing we endure
makes sense, if we don’t touch people's hearts.

Most times it’s enough to be:
the receptive shoulder
enveloping arm
comforting word
respectful silence
infectious joy
flowing tears
caressing look
gratifying wish
encouraging love.

And this is not something from another world.
It’s what gives meaning to life.
It's what makes life
neither short
nor too long.
But it would be intense
true, pure...
While it lasts.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Cora Coralina, Who Are You?

I am a woman like any other,
I came from last century
and I brought with me all the ages.

I was born in the depletion of a mountain
Between the mountains and the hills.
“Far from everywhere”.

In a city from which they took
the gold and left the stones.
My childhood and adolescence took place
alongside this.

The jagged cliffs
responded to my desires.
And I immensely secluded in the highlands
that turned blue in the distance.

In a hunger for life I took
flight on the impossible wings
of dreams.

I come from last century.
I belong to a bridge
generation, between freedom
of the slaves and free work.
Between fallen monarchy
and the republic that installed itself.

All the rancidity of the past was
The brutality, the incomprehension,
the ignorance, the carrancism.

Translated by Charlotte Markham

Aninha and Her Stones

Don't let yourself be destroyed ...
Gathering new stones
and building new poems.
Recreate your life, always, always.
Removes stones and plants roses and makes sweets. Restart.
Make your life mean
a poem.
And you will live in the hearts of young people
and in the memory of the generations to come.
This fountain is for use by all thirsty people.
Take your share.
Come to these pages
and do not hinder its use
to those who are thirsty.

Translated by (?)

Manuel Bandeira: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Manuel Bandeira Brazilian Poet


Manuel Carneiro de Sousa Bandeira Filho (April 19, 1886 – October 13, 1968) was a Brazilian poet, literary critic, and translator, who wrote over 20 books of poetry and prose. Bandeira's poems have a unique delicacy and beauty. Recurrent themes that can be found in his works are: the love of women, his childhood in the Northeast city of Recife, friends, and health problems. His delicate health affected his poetry, and many Many of his poems depict the limits of the human body. He contributed poems of political and social criticism to the Modernist Movement in São Paulo.

I Am Going To Pasargada

I am going away to Pasargada
There I am friend of the king
There I have the woman I want
On the bed that I shall choose
I am going away to Pasargada.

I am going away to Pasargada
Here I am not happy
There life is an adventure
I such a non-mattering way
That Joan the Mad Woman of pain
Queen and pretended insane
Is relative once removed
From the daughter-in-law I never had.

And how I will exercise!
I will pedal my bicycle!
I will ride the wild ass!
I will climb the greased pole!
I will bathe in the sea!
And when I am tired
I will lie on the banks of the river
And call the nymph of the water
To tell me the stories
That Rose used to tell me
When I was a boy
I am going away to Pasargada.

There´s everything in Pasargada
It´s another civilization:
It has s safe and sure way
To prevent knocking the girls up
It has automatic telephone
It has plenty of dope
It has beautiful prostitutes
For one to make love to.

And when I become sadder
So sad that I have no more hope
And when in the night it comes:
The desire to kill myself
— Ah, there I am friend of the king —
Then I have the woman I want
On the bed that I shall choose
I am going away to Pasargada.

Translated by John Nist

My Last Poem

I would like my last poem thus
That it be gentle saying the simplest and least intended things
That it be ardent like a tearless sob
That it have the beauty of almost scentless flower
The purity of the flame in which the most limpid diamonds are consumed
The passion of suicides who kill themselves without explanation.

Translated by Elizabeth Bishop

Absolute Death

To die.
To die body and soul.

To die without leaving the sad remains of flesh,
Without leaving the bloodless mask of wax,
Surrounded by flowers,
Which will rot away — so happy! — one day,
Bathed in tears
Born less from grief than from the shock of death.

To die without leaving perhaps even a pilgrim soul…
On the way to heaven?
But what heaven can fulfill your dream of heaven?

To die without leaving a furrow, a trace, a shadow,
Without leaving even the remembrance of a shadow
In any human heart, in any human thought,
In any human skin.

To die so completely
That one day when somebody sees your name on a page
He will ask: “Who was he?...”

To die still more completely:
Without leaving even this name.

Translated by John Nist

Augusto dos Anjos: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Augusto dos Anjos Brazilian Poet


Augusto de Carvalho Rodrigues dos Anjos (April 20, 1884 – November 12, 1914) was a Brazilian poet and professor. His poems speak mostly of sickness and death, and are considered the forerunners of Modernism in Brazil. Augusto dos Anjos published only one book during his lifetime, named Eu. The themes of its poems, that are impregnated with a heavily scatological medical, scientific and philosophical vocabulary, are mostly sickness, death, heavy morbidity and pessimism. Literary critics are not sure to which literary movement Augusto dos Anjos belong: some say he was a Symbolist and some say he was a Parnassian, although Ferreira Gullar classifies him as being a Pre-Modernist.

Intimate verses

Look! No one saw the amazing
Burial of your one final dream.
Only the ungrateful and mean
Gave you a shoulder for weeping!

Get used to the cesspit that awaits!
Man, in this miserable land,
Surrounded by wild beasts, can only stand
By dishing out even stronger bites.

Take a match – light your cigarette!
The kiss, the friend, precedes the spit,
The hand caresses – before the stick.

If someone saves you from hell,
Stone the hand that treats you well,
Spit on those who try to kiss you!

Translated by Daniel Vianna

Immortal Lust

Do you really think that life-giving bliss,
The driving hunger of eurythmic atoms,
Will abort the molecules in motion
At the time when our flesh becomes putrid?!

No! This radial light that burns Being,
To perpetuate a victorious Species,
Tragically, even after we decease,
Inside the bones – goes on – keeps on – burning!

Deaf from abuses and offenses,
Our fleshless carcasses,
Convulsing and contorting the core,

Exhaling sulfuric gases from the tomb,
With the fresh lust of new bones,
Will yet press together more!

Translated by Daniel Vianna

A Philosopher’s Agony

I read the Phtah-Hotep, I read the obsolete
Rig-Veda. Yet nothing gives me rest…
The Unconscious haunts me and I swirl possesed,
Restless harmattan in aeolian rage!

I’m witness here to an insect’s death!…
Alas! Now all phenomena of earth
From pole to pole seem to make real
Anaximader of Miletus’s ideal!

Atop the heterogeneous hieratic areopagus
Of Ideas I wander, a lost magus,
From Haeckel’s soul to souls of Cenobites!..

The thick veiling of secret worlds I tear;
And just like Goethe, I catch the sight:
Of universal substance ruling there!

Translated by Odile Cisneros

Mário Quintana: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Mario Quintana Brazilian Poet


Mário de Miranda Quintana (July 30, 1906 – May 5, 1994) was a Brazilian writer and translator. He became known as the poet of "simple things", and his style is marked by irony, profundity and technical perfection. The main themes of his poetry include death, the lost childhood and time. Quintana also worked as a journalist and translated into Portuguese innumerable books, such as Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.


There they are, all the while
Standing there in my way:
They will well and wile
and I will while away!

Translated by John Howard

The Contra’s Little Poem

All of those who may
Forbid me to fly:
They will pass away
I’m passing by

Translated by Eduardo Miranda

Wee Protest Poem

All them folk there over yon
My path they do defy,
They’ll tweet along.
I Tweetie Pie!

Translated by Sarah Kersley


If you love me, love me discreetly
Don’t shout it from the rooftops
Don’t disturb the birds
Don’t disturb me!
If you love me,
That’s all right,
But take it easy, darling,
For life is short, and love is shorter still …

Translated by Giovanni Pontiero

Man and Water

Let me be what I am,
what I have always been,
a river that keeps flowing.

And my destiny is to follow...follow to the sea.
The sea, where everything begins again...
Where everything is renewed...

Translated by Eduardo San Martin

Carlos Drummond de Andrade: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Carlos Drummond de Andrade Brazilian Poet


Carlos Drummond de Andrade was a Brazilian poet and writer, considered by some as the greatest Brazilian poet of all time. Drummond was born in Itabira, a mining village in Minas Gerais in the southeastern region of Brazil. Drummond, as a writer of the modernist style, follows the writing mechanic proposed by Mário de Andrade and Oswald de Andrade; making use of free verse, and not depending on a fixed meter. In modernism, the predominant style which Drummond wrote in, styles were divided into lyrical and subjective or objective and concrete, Drummond would be part of the latter, similar to Oswald de Andrade.

Seven-Sided Poem

When was born, one of the crooked
angels who live in shadow, said:
Carlos, go on! Be gauche in life.

The houses watch the men,
men who run after women.
If the afternoon had been blue,
there might have been less desire.

The trolley goes by full of legs:
white legs, black legs, yellow legs.
My God, why all the legs?
my heart asks. But my eyes
ask nothing at all.

The man behind the moustache
is serious, simple, and strong.
He hardly ever speaks.
He has a few, choice friends,
the man behind the spectacles and the moustache.

My God, why hast Thou forsaken me
if Thou knew'st 1 was not God,
if Thou- knew'st that 1 was weak.

Universe, vast universe,
if 1 had been named Eugene
that would not be what 1 mean
but it would go into verse
Universe, vast universe,
my heart is vaster.

I oughtn't to tell you,
but this moon
and this brandy
play the devil with one's emotions.

Translated by Elizabeth Bishop


And now, José?
The party's done,
the light put out,
the people gone,
the night gone cold,
and now, Jose?
and now, yourself?
your nameless self
who cuts them dead,
you maker of verse
who loves, protests,
and now, José?

You're loverless,
no podium,
no tenderness,
drink won't go down,
smoke won't suck in,
the mouth won't spit,
the night's gone cold,
dawn hasn't come,
the bus won't come
nor laughter come
nor Utopia come
and it's all done
and it's all fled,
the white mold grows,
and now, José?

And now, José?
your gentle word,

your flash of fever,
your greeds and fasts,
your library,
your vein of gold,
your suit of glass,
your incoherences,
your hates, and now?

Key in your hand,
you want the door,
there's no more door;
you want to drown
but the sea dried up;
you want your home
—what home is that?
José, what next?

If you'd just scream,
if you'd just whine,
if you'd just play
a Viennese waltz,
if you'd just sleep
or at least get tired,
if you'd just die ...
But you won't die,
you're tough, José!

Yourself in the dark
like a beast in a den,
with no pagan gods,
with no bare wall
to lean back on,
with no jet horse
that flees at a gallop,
you march, José!
José, how come?

Translated by Virginia de Araújo.

To Love

What can one creature do,
Among his fellow creatures, if not love?
Love and forget,
Love and mis-love,
Love, unlove, love?
Always, even to eyes gone glassy, love?

What else, I ask, can a loving being do,
Alone in a rotating universe, if not
To turn too, and love?
Love what the sea brings ashore,
Love what it buries and what, in the sea-breezes,
Is salt, or love’s yearning, or plain anguish?

To love solemnly the desert palms,
Love what is surrendered or pregnant with demands,
Love the barren, the unpolished,
A flowerless vase, an iron floor,
The inert breast, the street seen in a dream, a bird of prey.

This is our destiny: to love without accounting,
Distributing it to the faithless and the hollow,
An unlimited donation to complete ingratitude,
And, still from the emptied shell, the nervous, patient
Scrounging out of more and more love.

To love even our own lack of love, and in our parched state
To love the implicit water, the implied kiss, the infinite thirst

Translated by Harrison Tao.

Cecília Meireles: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Cecília Meireles Brazilian Poet


Cecília Benevides de Carvalho Meireles (Rio de Janeiro, 1901–1964) was a Brazilian writer and educator, known principally as a poet. She is a canonical name of Brazilian Modernism, one of the great female poets in the Portuguese language, and is widely considered the best female poet from Brazil, though she combated the word poetess because of gender discrimination. Her style was mostly neo-symbolist and her themes included ephemeral time and the contemplative life.


I sing because the moment exists
And my life is complete.
I am not gay, I am not sad:
I am a poet.

Brother of fugitive things,
I feel no delight or torment.
I cross nights and days
In the wind.

Whether I destroy or build,
Whether I persist or disperse,
— I don´t know, I don´t know.
I don´t know if I stay or go.

I know that I sing.
The song is everything.
The rhythmic wing has eternal blood,
And I know that one day I shall be dumb:
— Nothing more.


I did not have this face of today
So calm
So sad
So thin.

Nor these eyes so empty
Nor this bitter mouth.

I did not have these strenghtless hands
So still
And cold
And dead.

I did not realize this change
So simple
So certain

So easy.

In what mirror did I lose my face?


Here is my life:
This sand so clear
With drawing that walk
Dedicated to the wind…

Here is my voice:
This empty shell
The shadow of a sound
Preserving its own lament…

Here is my grief:
This broken coral
Surviving its pathetic moment…

Here is my heritage:
This solitary sea —
On one side it was love
And on the other forgetfulness.

Translated by John Nist.
[MODERN BRAZILIAN POETRY, AN ANTHOLOGY. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962]

Vinicius de Moraes: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Vinicius de Moraes Brazlian Poet


Marcus Vinicius da Cruz e Mello Moraes (October 19, 1913 – July 9, 1980), also known as Vinícius de Moraes and nicknamed O Poetinha (the little poet), was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As a poet, he wrote lyrics for a great number of songs that became all-time classics. He was also a composer of bossa nova, a playwright, a diplomat and, as an interpreter of his own songs, he left several important albums.

Sonnet of Fidelity

Above all, to my love I'll be attentive
First and always, with care and so much
That even when facing the greatest enchantment
By love be more enchanted my thoughts.

I want to live it through in each vain moment
And in its honor I'll spread my song
And laugh my laughter and cry my tears
When you are sad or when you are content.

And thus, when later comes looking for me
Who knows, the death, anxiety of the living,
Who knows, the loneliness, end of all lovers

I'll be able to say to myself of the love (I had):
Be not immortal, since it is flame
But be infinite while it lasts.

Translated by MariGoes

Sonnet of the Friend

At last, after so many past mistakes
So much retaliation, so much danger
There reappears in another the old friend
Never lost, always found again.

It’s good to sit by his side again
With eyes that contain the familiar look
Always with me a little troubled
And as always particular with me.

A creature just like me, simple and human
Knowing how to move and be moved
And to disguise my own delusion.

Friend: a being life doesn’t explain
Which only goes on seeing another born
And multiplies the mirror of my soul...

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Sonnet on Separation

Suddenly laughter became sobbing
Silent and white like the mist
And united mouths became foam
And upturned hands became astonished.

Suddenly the calm became the wind
That extinguished the last flame in the eyes
And passion became foreboding
And the still moment became drama.

Suddenly, no more than suddenly
He who’d become a lover became sad
And he who’d become content became lonely

The near became the distant friend
Life became a vagrant venture
Suddenly, no more than suddenly.

Translated by Ashley Brown

Olavo Bilac: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Olavo Bilac Brazilian Poet


Olavo Brás Martins dos Guimarães Bilac (December 16, 1865 – December 28, 1918) was a Brazilian Parnassian poet, journalist and translator, one ofthe most popular of all Brazilian poets. Alongside Alberto de Oliveira and Raimundo Correia, he was a member of the "Parnassian Triad". Elected the "Prince of Brazilian Poets" in 1907 by the magazine Fon-Fon, he is famous for writing the lyrics of the Brazilian Flag Anthem. He founded and occupied the 15th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, from 1897 until his death in 1918.

Sonnet XIII

(From the Milky Way series)

Oh come now (you will say) hear stars! It's clear
You've lost your mind!" I´ll tell you anyway,
I often wake to hear what they will say,
I push my windows open, pale with tear ...

And we converse throughout the night, while high
The Milky Way, like outspread robes, appears
To shine. At dawn, with longing and in tears,
I seek them still throughout the empty sky.

And next you'll say: "My poor, demented friend
What do you say to them? And tell me, pray,
What do they say when they your ears do bend?

I´m tell you: "You must love to comprehend!
For only lie who loves has ears which may
Perceive and grasp the messages stars send.

The Portuguese Language

Last flower of Latium, wild, uncultured, fair,
You are, at once, both splendor and the grave:
Pure gold, the gangue's impurities don't bare
A mine that´s veiled 'mid rocks and graveled.

I love you thus, unknown, obscure and hidden,
A blaring trumpet, lyre of guilelessness,
Whose fury's like the sea that's tempest ridden,
Whose lullabies are love and tenderness!

I love your lush green woods and perfume wrung,
From virgin jungles and expansive sea!
I love you, rude and sorrowful native tongue,

In which my mother said: "dear son of mine!"
In which Camões bemoaned, grieved exile he,
His luckless genius and love's tarnished shine!

Old Trees

Look at these old trees, more lovely these
Than younger trees, more friendly too by far:
More beautiful the older that they are,
Victorious over age and stormy seas ...

The beasts, the insects, man, under the tree
Have lived, and been from toil and hunger free;
And in its higher branches safe and sound
Incessant songs of birds and love are found.

Our youth now lost, my friend, let's not bemoan!
Let's laugh as we grow old! let us grow old
As do the trees, so nobly, strong and bold

Enjoy the glorious kindness we have sown,
And succor in our branches those who seek,
The shade and comfort offered to the weak!

Poemas translated by Frederic G. William
(POETS OF BRAZIL – A Bilingual Selection – New York: Luso Brazilian Books)
Brighm Young University Studies, Provo, Utah, USA; Editora da Universidade Feral da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil.