Showing posts with label woman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woman. Show all posts

Olga Savary: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Olga Savary Brazilian Poet


Olga Savary (21 May 1933 – 15 May 2020) was a Brazilian writer, poet, and literary critic. She wrote several publications and was a member of PEN International. Notably, she won the Prêmio Jabuti in 1970 for Espelho Provisório. In Olga Savary, there is a mixture of explosion and sensitivity, of folly and modesty, as if she feared, by speaking out loud, she would break the enchantment of life: whether it be a child, a memory, a city. Olga Savary died on 15 May 2020 in Teresópolis at the age of 86 due to COVID-19.

Eden Hades

Water gardens satisfy our thirst
sunshine swollen in veins
hanging like mango
and I was like the owner of a ship
arrogant, deserving. Just like
an open vowel, I opened doors for the sand
in sudden loss of memory.
That the air should be swallowed like a ship.
All the sea breeze appears on the terraces
and vibrates in the sargassos above the swells.
Caught in the trap
Transforms the darkness to morning.
These are the contours of the dream:
a silver plaque and a name inscribed,
today deleted, engraved long,
long ago. And only that. The gods summon us,
they want us all because they want nothing,
they laugh at us, they lose us to win us
and to our questions
they play deaf,
they don’t respond except for the hollow
echo. Everything loses meaning
evil is pronounced.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Angélica Freitas: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Angélica Freitas Brazilian Poet


Angélica Freitas (born April 8, 1973) is a Brazilian poet and translator. Angélica Freitas had her poems published for the first time in an anthology of Brazilian poetry published in Argentina, titled Cuatro poetas recientes del Brasil (Buenos Aires: Black & Vermelho, 2006), organized and translated by Argentine poet Cristian De Nápoli. Her first book of poems was Rilke Shake (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2007). In 2012 her book um útero é do tamanho de um punho was a finalist on 2013 Prêmio Portugal Telecom.The English edition of Rilke Shake (translated by Hillary Kaplan) won the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2016. Freitas's poetry was published in France, Germany, Mexico, Spain and the United States. Her poems were published at several print and digital magazines

The Woman Is A Construction

the woman is a construction
must be

the woman is basically meant to be
a housing complex
all the same
everything plastered
just change the color

particularly I'm a woman
of bricks on display
in social gatherings having to be
the most hardly dressed

I say I'm a journalist

(the woman is a construction
with too many holes


the revista nova* is the ministry
of cloacal affairs
pardon me
do not talk about shit in the revista nova*)

you are a woman
and if you suddenly wake up binary and blue
and spend the day turning the light on and off?

(do you like being brazilian?
to be called virginia woolf?)

the woman is a construction
makeup is camouflage
every woman has a gay friend
how good it is to have friends

all friends have a gay friend
who has a woman
who calls him fred astaire

at this point, it's already late
the psychologists of the freud coffee shop
look and smile

nothing is going to change–

nothing will ever change–

the woman is a construction

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus


men women are born they grow
they see how others are born
and how they disappear
from this mystery a cemetery arises
they bury bodies then forget

men women are born they grow
they see how others are born
and how they disappear
they record, record with their phones
make spreadsheets then forget

they hope their time comes slowly
men women
don’t know what comes next
so they go to grad school

men women are born they grow
they know that one day they’re born
and the next they disappear
but that’s not why they forget
to turn off the lights and the gas

Translated by Daniel Medin

One More (tiny) Thing

don’t calculate what you’ve lost in buying a box of pins (made in china)
and from where exactly they emerge with heads (flat)
and your cursing mao tse when a drop of blood appears (from the finger)
and when you find a pin in the street, leave it there (it’s not dead)
the same kind of pin pointing to the blouses (in your closet)
and brushing your skin it produces a red (so rare)
and someone is dreaming of pins (in china)
in this life only valued by a dozen (clearly)

Translated by Farnoosh Fathi

Elisa Lucinda: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Elisa Lucinda Brazilian Poet


Elisa Lucinda (born February 2, 1958) is a Brazilian actress, singer, poet, writer and journalist. Lucinda attended journalism school at Vitória, when she worked writing for newspapers and in a news program. Lucinda was 27 when she decided to move to Rio de Janeiro to become an actress; however, her poetry was more successful.The poet Elisa Lucinda talks about love, pain, passion, frustration, birth, death; these universal themes that accompany the despair and hope of us all. But her poetry doesn’t shy away from dealing with social problems that are quite Brazilian. Racism, sexism, mistreatment of the poor.

Warning of The Menstruating Moon

Boy, watch out for her!
Care must be taken with these menstruating people...
Imagine a waterfall inside out:
In every act, the body confesses.
Watch out, boy
Sometimes it looks like grass, it looks like ivy
Beware of these people who generate
These people who metamorphose
Half legible, half mermaid.
The belly grows, it explodes humanities
And still goes back to the place that is the same
But is another, there it is:
Every word said, before saying it, man, consider...
Your damn mouth doesn't know that every word is an ingredient
That will fall on the same pan planet.
Be careful with every character you send her!
She's used to living inside herself,
Transforming fact into element
Sauting, boiling, frying everything
And everything still bleeds the following month.
Watch out, boy, when ya think ya escaped
Then it's your turn!
Because I'm a good friend
I’m talking the "real" talk
I know every one, besides being one of them.
You who came out of her crack
Delicate force when returning to it.
Don't go uninvited
Or without the proper wooing...
Sometimes by the bridge of a kiss
You soon reach the "secret city"
The lost atlantis.
At other times, several poundings and more you move from her.
Watch out, boy, that since you have a snake between your legs
You fall into the condition of carelessness
Before the serpent itself
She is a snake with an apron
Do not despise domestic meditation
It's from the everyday dust
That women draw philosophizing
Cooking, sewing and you arrive with your hand in pocket
Judging the art of lunch: yuck!…
Don't you know where are your boxers?
Ah, my desired dog
So concerned about growling, snarling and barking
That you forget about biting slowly
You forget about enjoying, sharing.
And then when you want to assault
You call her chick and cow.
They are two worthy neighbors of our world!
What you have to say about cows?
What you have I'll tell and don't you complain:
Your mom's a cow. a milking cow.
Cow and chick...
Well, it does not offend. it praises, flatters:
By comparing queen to queen
Ovules, eggs and milk
Thinking that you're assaulting
That you're swearing dirty words.
You're not, man.
You're quoting the beginning of the world!

Translated by Rubens Chinali
Published in Contemporary Brazilian Poetry (2020).

Ana Martins Marques: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Ana Martins Marques Brazilian Poet


Ana Martins Marques is a Brazilian poet (Belo Horizonte, 07 de novembro de 1977). She has received various literary awards in Brazil, among them the Prêmio da Fundação Biblioteca Nacional and third place for Prêmio Oceanos. Her poems have been translated into English, French, Italian, and Spanish. His poetry combines formal elaboration with a reflection on life, promoting a narrowing between language and experience.

The Sea

She said
the sea
sometimes improbable things come
not merely plastic bags cardboard wood
empty bottles condoms beer cans
also umbrellas shoes fans
and a sofa
she said
it’s possible to look
for a long time
it is here I come
to clear my eyes
she said
those who were born far from
the sea
those who never saw
the sea
what will they make
of the limitless?
what will they make
of leaving?
will they think of taking a long road
and not looking back?
think of airport
border controls?
when they say
I want to kill myself
will they think of blades
for I only think
of the sea

One day

We didn’t sleep;
we believed the night
could be replaced by coffee
and it was

our round heads
under a round moon

we were saved by the small restaurant open until so
keeping in its heart bright red

you carried in your pockets
coins from three countries

dawn came like the cover
of a notebook

we talked as though writing subtitles
for photographs

we wanted so much
so little

we took the bus
at the last minute

side by side
like a bilingual


The days aren’t hard
or compact,
they’re days of vacation,
bright and open days,
freed from the calendar,
days that recall those other days,
from some other childhood,
which perhaps never existed.
We want the sun
to stain our skin,
the sand to hurt us,
we spend all our money
on hot beers,
we let the water salt our bodies
and strip ourselves of so many other products
(the creams, the crimes).
Of these days we accept everything,
their excitement and excesses,
we light salty cigarettes
and let the light hurt our eyes,
we linger in conversations
brittle as these stars we find.
Apart from one another,
but at the disposal of the sun,
we accept each other
like one lizard
accepts another.
And at the end of the day
– the sun left its mark, our bodies traced,
there is nothing to tell
other than the sea and its repetition,
its waters taught us about an unstable silence,
made of foam,
we move in the rhythm
of the beach’s almond trees
– we are more porous
we’re thirstier,
we awaken in us
certain submarine thoughts
and a memory forged
in the light flesh of forgetting.
But this you can’t see in these photographs.

Translated by Elisa Wouk Almino

Conceição Evaristo: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Conceição Evaristo Brazilian Poet


Maria da Conceição Evaristo de Brito (born November 29, 1946) is a Brazilian writer. She was born in a favela in the southern area of Belo Horizonte, to a very poor family with nine brothers and her mother. She had to work as a domestic servant during her youth until she finished her normal course in 1971, at the age of 25. Conceição Evaristo is a great exponent of contemporary Brazilian literature. She writes about race, gender and class discrimination, especially of black women.

In Writing...

In writing hunger
With empty-palmed hands
when the hole-stomach
expels famished desires
there is, in this demented movement
the dream-hoping
for any leftovers.

In writing cold
with the tip of my bones
caring in my body the tremor
of pain and shelterless-ness
there is, in this tense movement
the warmth-hoping
for any miserable little vest.

In writing pain,
searching for the resonance
of another in me
there is in this constant movement
the illusion-hoping
for our doubled consonance.

In writing life
fading and swimming
on departure’s test tube
there is, in this useless movement
the treacherous-hoping
for catching Time
and caressing eternity.

Translated by (?)

Women Voices

The voice of my great-grandmother
echoed as a child
inside the ship’s bowels.
Echoing moans
of a lost childhood.

The voice of my grandmother
echoed obedience
to the white-owners of everything.

The voice of my mother
whispered echoes of revolt
in the very end of the other’s kitchens
under the trusses
of whites’ dirty linen
along the dusty road
towards the slum.

My voice still
echoes perplexing verses
in rhymes of blood

The voice of my daughter
uniting all our voices
gathers within itself
the dumb silenced voices
choking in our throats.
The voice of my daughter
gathers within itself
speech and action.
Yesterday - today - now.
In my daughter’s voice
the resonance will be heard
the echo of freedom-life.

Translated by Maria Aparecida Salgueiro de Andrade and Antonio D. Tillis

My Equal Body

In the darkness of the night
my equal body
diffuses dangers
deciphers messages
whistles and tam-tams.

In equal darkness
my night body
opens volcanically
the ethnic skin
that dresses me.

In the darkness of the night
my equal body
floats tears, oceanlike,
sieving searches
nailing dreams
quilombo-gathering hopes
in the darkness of the night.

Translated by Maria Aparecida Salgueiro de Andrade and Antonio D. Tillis

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

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

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

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 (?)

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]