Ariano Suassuna: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Ariano Suassuna Brazilian Poet


Ariano Vilar Suassuna was a Brazilian playwright and author. He is in the "Movimento Armorial". He founded the Student Theater at Federal University of Pernambuco. Four of his plays have been filmed, and he was considered one of Brazil's greatest living playwrights of his time. He was also an important regional writer, doing various novels set in the Northeast of Brazil. He received an honorary doctorate at a ceremony performed at a circus. He was the author of, among other works, the "Auto da Compadecida" and "A Pedra do Reino". He was a staunch defender of the culture of the Northeast, and his works dealt with the popular culture of the Northeast.

The Brennand Mural in Miami

The Americans call her Flórida,
But Florida is its name :
flowery peninsula, of the spanish Roses,
that the Salt purifies and eat.

White from clouds, blue from Sky
and now the blue-and-white of the Floral.
Yes! From the Naves of the Northeastern churches,
from the clay Walls, Stone and lime,
to there emigrated the winged Form
of Fire and of brazier,
of the navy Blue and portuguese.

White Sun of the brazilian northeast

The Land is another.
The same is the Clear Sky,
and the same is this Blue of fire and gold
the Gold of this Honey.

Demetrios Galvão: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Demetrios Galvão Brazilian Poet


Demetrios Galvão (Teresina/PI) is a poet, editor and teacher. Author of books of poems - Fractais Semióticos (2005), Insólito (2011), Bifurcações (2014), O Avesso da Lâmpada (2017), Reabitar (2019) and Capsular (2015). In 2005, he released a CD with poems. He has poems published in several anthologies and literary magazines. He is co-editor of Acrobata magazine ( in activity since 2013.

The Needed Enigma

age is a labyrinth that
shapes itself in combat
interests me the needed enigma
the emotion of the soft voice

salute the perennial flow of blood
celebrate in silence the sun that lights up the face
the quiet fire that heats the dead body

I trim the excess of time that lies near the skin
I hold in one hand the affection of the other hand
in line with a satellite
that drives the desire

– it is not possible to die easily.


when the feet get sick
and forget the ways
the body needs to invent flights.

the fish swims in the depth of the right rib
in the darkness between-bones
migrating to the coziness of the meaty coast.

(the tongue when well planted
reaches deep veins
voluptuous source of fables)

I seek then, the supernatural beauty:
the African hips, the monarchic span,
the incendiary anatomy.

I dress up with wings and lamps
and I go to meet you
with a magic-word adorning the eyes.

Translated by Belise Campos and Jéssica Iancoski

Manoel de Barros: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Manoel de Barros Brazilian Poet


Manoel Wenceslau Leite de Barros (December 19, 1916 – November 13, 2014) was a Brazilian poet. He won many awards for his work, including twice the Prêmio Jabuti (the "Tortoise Prize"), the most important literary award in Brazil. Barros was born in Cuiabá, and is regarded by critics as one of the great names of contemporary Brazilian poetry, and by many authors he has been considered the greatest living poet from Brazil. The poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade recognized Manoel de Barros as the Brazil's greatest poet.

Theology of Junk

Things thrown out as junk are treasures to me;
my favorites are cans.
Cans make poor words for people but they are concrete.
If you throw away a can, considering it junk: a beggar,
cook, or poet can pick it up and use it.
For that reason, I think cans are more satisfying, for
example, than ideas.
Because ideas, being objects conceived in the mind,
are abstract.
And if you throw away an abstract object as junk,
no one wants to pick it up.
For that reason, I think cans are more satisfying.
We take a can, fill it with sand and leave, and
push through the streets a custom-made sand-truck.
An idea, being an abstract object conceived by the mind,
cannot be filled with sand.
For this reason, I think the can is more satisfying.
Ideas are the lights of the mind - we know that.
There are brilliant ideas - we know that too.
But ideas also invented the atomic bomb, the atomic
bomb, the bomb.
Now I would like that words would illuminate
that what we call junk would illuminate.

Translated by Rosaliene Bacchus

Day One

Yesterday it rained in the future.
Water soaked my embarrassments.
My sleepwear.
My set of dishes.
I sail on the flood’s rise to the image of a cork.
My canoe is light as a stamp.
These waters have no other edge.
From here I only glimpse the border of the sky.
(Might a vulture have his eye on me?)
I am lined up with the cup of the leaves.
Fish eat caranda fruits in the stands of palm trees.

Translated by Idra Novey

The Illness

I never lived far from my country.
However I suffer from farness.
In my childhood my mother had the illness.
She was the one who gave it to me.
Later my father went to work at a place
that gave this illness to people.
It was a place without a name or neighbors.
People said it was the nail on the toe at the end of the world.
We grew up without any other houses nearby.
A place that offered only birds, trees, a river and its fish.
There were unbridled horses in the scrub grass,
their backs covered with butterflies.
The rest was only distance.
Distance was an empty thing we carried in the eye,
what my father called exile.

Translated by Idra Novey

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

Renata Pallottini: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Renata Pallottini Brazilian Poet


Pallottini's poetry is a mirror of the real world. It reflects all the contradictions of everyday life. It balances between lies and truths, between illusions and frustrations, between life and death, pain and pleasure. Between the ugly and the beautiful. Between hope and despair. To feel and to understand her poems simultaneously is not a challenge because Pallottini is one of the few lucky artists (and people) who combine emotions and reason in a unique, harmonious way, both in her work and in her life. There is no dividing line between the heart and the brain, between the real and the imaginary, between the sophisticated and the simple. These are the qualities that make her and her work so appealing. — Elzbieta Szoka


I dedícate.

That of the body
that which I eat.

All I dedícate
my love

to your hunger.

To A Murdered Homosexual

You used to train dogs.
Probably they never bit you.
Today you are forever beneath the ground
killed by men
who train

Ride Naked On That Beast

Ride naked on that beast
That might throw you

It's no worse than seeing children
Thrown in the trash heaps

It's no worse than sandals
Smeared with manure

It's no worse than pain
that doesn´t become music

It's no worse than love
that hurts more than all the rest.

Ride naked on that beast
or the world will throw you.

Translated by K. David Jackson

Murilo Mendes: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Murilo Mendes Brazilian Poet


Murilo Monteiro Mendes (May 13, 1901 – August 13, 1975) was a Brazilian Modernist poet, considered to be one of the forerunners of the Surrealist movement in Brazil. Between 1924 and 1929, Mendes published his first poems in the Modernist magazines Antropofagia and Verde. His first poetry book, simply called Poemas, was published in 1930; it won the Graça Aranha Prize. His second poetry book, Bumba-Meu-Poeta, was released shortly afterwards, and in 1933, Mendes published História do Brasil.

Dead Man

Man stretched on the table.
his black clothes make him larger.
the four big candlesticks sysymmetrically arranged
build up na imaginary tomb in the room.

The family portraits framed in plush
rub their hands in glee.

His polished shoes
show the revenue stamp.
The neighbour’s porr children
take a phot on the shoe.

Translated by Abgar Renault


I proclaim Thee great and wonderful,
Not because Thou hast made the sun to avail by day
And the stars to avail by night;
Not because Thou hast made the earth and all that is therein,
The fruits of the field, the flowers, the cinemas, the locomotives;
Not because Thou hast made the sea and all that is therein,
The animals and plants, submarines and sirens;
I proclaim Thee great and eternally wonderful
Because Thou makest Thyself tiny in the Eucharist,
So tiny that I, weak and wretched, am able to contain

Translated by Dudley Poore

Song of the Bridegroom

I will see your shapes take form little by little,
will see them shift in color, in weight, in rhythm,
your breasts swell in the hot night,
the eyes be transformed at the budding idea of a first child.
I will assist in the unfolding of your ages,
watching over all your transformations.
Already in my memory is the girl mother-to-dolls,
and after that, the one by the window in the afternoon,
and the one who changed on knowing me,
and the one close-by the union of bodies and souls.
The others will come. Your hips that will spread out,
the fallen breasts, the blameless eyes, the hair without luster
will be and tether you closer to the meaning of love,
my darling martyr, shape that I destroyed, integrated into mine.

Translated by Harrison Tao

Raul Bopp: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Raul Bopp Brazilian Poet


Raul Bopp (born in Santa Maria (RS) on August 4, 1898; died in Rio de Janeiro on June 2, 1984) was a Brazilian poet and diplomat. He did diplomatic work in Japan and was a friend of Oswald de Andrade. Hence his Cobra Norato is an example of work based in the Manifesto Antropófago. In 1977 he won the Prêmio Machado de Assis.

Daughter Of The Jungle

The forests raise hairy arms to hide you,
Jealous of the sun,
And your sad flesh burgeoned in breasts.
New-come from the warm depths of the jungle.

In your eyes is the darkness of Amazonian nights.
And in the tropical languor of your body
Sleeps the shadow of the Southern Cross!

At night the jungle wakes in your blood
Dreams of long-lost tribes,
— Daughter of nameless races crossed in wholesale adultery.

And you wander thus, with nuptial step, to the banks of the river,
The heritage bequeathed to you by your ancestors.

And in the solitude you give yourself, sinuous and
languid, to the plastic water,
Naked as a forest flower,
Beneath the curious gaze of the stars.

Translated by Leonard S. Downes


I wake up.

The moon rose with bags under its eyes,
The silence hurts within the forest.

The stars are clean.
The great waters shrank while sleeping.

The tired night has stopped.

Oh, my friend!
I feel like listening to soft music—
that stretches itself within my blood:
a music that tastes like the moon
and like Queen Luzia's daughter's body;

and that makes me hear again
the conversations of the rivers—
which bring the lamentations of the journey
and voices that carne from far away
swollen with sobbings

I crossed the Shaken-lands

I stopped at the Big Worm's house.
I left my shadow with the Bottomless Being
only for Queen Luzia's daughter

I brought scented potions
and tinhorâo-tree bark
a bunch of clover-leaves
and mucura-cá roots.

But nothing worked out...

I go with such a sadness—
that slowly hurts a little
and bites the blood tenderly.

Oh, my friend.
Do not make noise
because maybe
the daughter of Queen Luzia
is still sleeping.

Oh, where would she be
for I only want to see
her eyes wet with green
her body—slim—like sugar-cane.

Maybe she is far away...
And I became a vagabond,
a world-traveller, wishing
to squeeze the body made of skin of flower
of the daughter
of Queen Luzia.

Oh, do not make noise...

Translated by Renato Rezende


Sky very blue.
White little heron flew and flew...
It thought the lake was way above.

Heavy dampness. Light hurting the eyes.
The sun seems like a little mirror.

Dissolving voices:

A lone enormous bird crosses the pregnant horizon.

Translated by Renato Rezende