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Was the most radical of the Brazilian modernists in his complete reflection Fo Parnasse and sentimentalism and his search for a new poetic language, which was highly influenced by Mayakovsky and the Russian formalists.  Considered a forerunner of the Brazilian Concret poets, his poetry plays on aphorisms, puns and form, abolishing the boundaries between prose and verse. His poetic sketches offer a radical revision of Brazilian history, degalousing the  “official history”.

Oswald also helped to the define the Brazilian modernist´attitude to foreign literature. Using his famous anthropophagic image, he stated that instead of just aping foreign fashions, as previous generations had done, the modernist should digest and regurgitate these ideas in a Brazilian form.

                    MISTAKE OF THE PORTUGUESE
                    (from Minor Poems, 1925)

When the Portuguese arrived
In a heavy storm
He clothed the Indian
What a pity!
If it had been a sunny morning
The Indian would have undressed
The Portuguese


(from Minor Poems, 1928)

A Poetic Message to the Brazilian People

South America
Sun America
Salt America

From the Ocean
Opens the jewel of your
To receive the cannons of Utah

From where the President Elect
From the Great American Democracy comes
Convoying in the air
Through the flight of the aeroplanes
And through all the birds
Of Brazil

The corporations and the families
Are already in the streets
Anxious to see him
Over here

But what a habit
Of the police to persecute the workers
Until this day
When they just want to see him
Over here

Maybe Argentina
Hs more flour than the League of Nations
More credit in the banks
More daring tangoes

But tell me sincerely
Which people best received
The American President
Because, Senhor Hoover, the Brazilian people have feeling
And you know that feeling is everything in life
Play on!


*The baY of Rio de Janeiro.


I learnt with my tem-year-old son
That poetry is the discovery
Of the things I had never seen


My love taught me to be  simple
Like a churche square
Where there is even a bell
Or a pencil
Or any sensuality

          (from Colonization Poems – Poemas da Colonização)



Geronimo was on another farm
Grinding flour in the kitchen
They came in
They got him
The pestle fell
He tripped
And fell
They got on top of him




         Translated by Jean R. Longland


The Abandoned Child

Doctor Coppelius

Leí Us Go With Him

Miss Spring


Brazilian Code of Civil Law

How to Win the Lottery

Public Speaking for Everyone

The Pole in Flames





         Translated by Jean R. Longland


Says the dainty actress

Margaret Piano Leg


Pretty tint — what a splendid lotion

I consider prettytint the complement

of woman's feminine toilette

for its agreeable odor

and as a tonic for the boyish bob

All women — deal with Mr. Fagundes

sole distributor
in the United States of Brazil





         Translated by Jean R. Longland


The Veronica extends her arms

and sings

The baldachin has stopped

All listen

to the voice in the night

full of lighted hills



TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: "Verónica"—a woman who carries thr holy sudarium in the processions of the burial of Christ; "áalio" — a portable baldachin carried in processions, covering the honored person or the priest who holds the monstrance.)





         Translated by Jean R. Longland


I am round, round
Round, round I know
I am a round island
Of the women I have kissed

Because I died for oh! love
Of the women of my island
My skull will laugh ha ha ha
Thinking of the rounded


Extraídos de
AN ANTHOLOGY OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY BRAZILIAN POETRY. Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.  Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1972. 


AN INTRODUCTION TO MODERN BRAZILIAN POETRY. Verse translations by Leonard S. Downes.  [São Paulo]: Clube de Poesia do Brasil, 1954.  84 p.   14x20 cm.  “ Leonard S. Downes “ Ex. Biblioteca Nacional de Brasília.


          POTTED MUSIC

          Sit down before your gramophone
          and forget the vicissitudes of life

          Amid the daily task the common grind
          No one with an ounce of self-esteem
          Should neglect the pleasures of the soul
          Records to suit every pocket.



THE OXFORD BOOK OF LATIN AMERICAN POETRY: a bilingual anthology   edited by Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman. Agawam. MA, USA: Oxford University Press, 2009.  561 p.  16x24,5 cm. Contracapa, capa dura.  ISBN 978-0-19-512454-5
           Inclui os poetas brasileiros: Gregório de Matos, Antonio Gonçalves Dias,  Manuel Antonio Alvares de Azevedo, Sousândrade,  Antonio de Castro Alves, João da Cruz e       Sousa, Olavo Bilac, Augusto dos Anjos, Pedro Kilkerry, Manuel Bandeira, Oswald de Andrade, Mário de Andrade, Raul Bopp, Cecilia Meireles, Carlos Drummond de
Andrade, Apolônio Alves dos Santos, Décio Pignatari, Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos, Paulo Leminski.  Ex. bibl. Antonio Miranda.


Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954, Brazil)


Born in Sao Paulo, Andrade is regarded as one of the most controversial figures in the Brazilian literary world. His seminal 1928 Manifesto antropofago (Cannibal Mani¬festo), and earlier Manifesto da poesia Pau-Brasii (1924), established the basic tenant of anthropophagous literature—the metaphor of Brazilian culture as cannibal, or the appropriation of European literary models by fusing them with the vernacular. In keeping this view, Andrade emphasized the inspiration that natural and pre-Colum-bian societies provided the modernists. PRINCIPAL WORKS: Memorias sentimentais de loao Miramar (1924), Pau Brasil (1925), Serafim Ponte Grande (1933)


Excerpt from Brazilwood / Pau Brasil


Odile Cisneros, trans.


Speech / Falação

Cabralism. The civilization of the grantees. The Homeland and Exports. Carnival. The Backland and the Shanties. Brazilwood. Barbarianly ours.

A rich ethnic formation. A rich vegetation. Minerals. Cuisine. Shrimp stew, gold, and dance.

The entire history of the Penetration and the commercial history of the

Americas. Brazilwood. Against the fatality of the first landed white man and diplomatically dominating the savage jungle. Quoting Virgil to the Tupiniquim. The law school graduate.

Country of anonymous pain. Of anonymous doctors. Society of learned castaways.
Where poetry was never exported from. Poetry tangled in culture. In the creepers of metrification.

The twentieth century. A blast in learning. The men who knew everything collapsed like rubber Towers of Babel. They burst from so much encyclopedism.

Poetry for poets. The bliss of an ignorance that discovers. Pedr'Alvares.

A suggestion from Blaise Cendrars: Have your locomotives ready, depart! A black man cranks the handle of the rotational divergence in which you exist. The slightest slip will make you head in the direction opposite your destination.

Against ministerialism, treading through climates. Language minus the archaisms. Minus the erudition. Natural and neologistic. The million-dollar contribution of all mistakes.

From naturalism to household pyrography and a tourist's Kodak. All the gifted girls. Mechanical piano virtuosi. Processions emerged from the bowels of the factories. It became necessary to undo. Deformation via impressionism and the symbol. A leafy lyricism. The presentation of materials.

The first Brazilian construction coinciding with the movement of general reconstruction. Brazilwood Poetry.

Against the naturalist's shrewdness—synthesis. Against the copy—invention and surprise.

A perspective different from the visual. The equivalent to a physical miracle in art. Stars trapped in photo negatives.


And a wise solar laziness. Prayer. A quiet energy. Hospitality.

Barabarians, pictoresque and credulous.  Brazilwood.  The forest and the school. Thse kitchen, minerals, and dance. Vegetation. Brazilwood.


O Cabralismo. A civilização dos donatários. A Querência e a Exportação./ O Carnaval. O Sertão e a Favela. Pau-Brasil. Bárbaro nosso.// A formação étnica rica. A riqueza vegetal. O minério. A cozinha. O vatapá, o ouro e a dança.// Toda a história da Penetração e a história comercial da América. Pau-Brasil./ Contra a fatalidade do primeiro branco aportado e dominando diplomaticamente as selvas selvagens. Citando Virgílio para tupiniquins. O bacharel.// País de dores anônimas. De doutores anônimos. Sociedade de náufragos eruditos./ Donde a nunca exportação de poesia. A poesia emaranhada na cultura. Nos cipós das metrificações.// Século um estouro nos aprendimentos. Os homens que sabiam tudo se deformaram como babéis de borracha. Rebentaram de enciclopedismo.// A poesia para os poetas. Alegria da ignorância que descobre. Pedr'Álvares.// Uma sugestão de Blaise Cendrars: — Tendes as locomotivas cheias, ides partir. Um negro gira a manivela do desvio rotativo em que estais. O menor descuido vos fará partir na direção oposta ao vosso destino.// Contra o gabinetismo, a palmilhação dos climas./ A língua sem arcaismos. Sem erudição. Natural e neológica. A contribuição milionária de todos os erros.// Passara-se do naturalismo à pirogravura doméstica e à kodak excursionista./ Todas as meninas prendadas. Virtuoses de piano de manivela./ As procissões saíram do bojo das fábricas./ Foi preciso desmanchar. A deformação através do impressionismo e do símbolo. O lirismo em folha. A apresentação dos materiais.// A coincidência da primeira construção brasileira no movimento de reconstrução geral. Poesia Pau-Brasil.// Contra a argúcia naturalista, a síntese. Contra a cópia, a invenção e a surpresa./ Uma perspectiva de outra ordem que a visual. O correspondente ao milagre físico em arte. Estrelas fechadas nos negativos fotográficos. // E a sábia preguiça solar. A reza. A energia silenciosa. A hospitalidade. // Bárbaros, pitorescos e crédulos. Pau-Brasil. A floresta e a escola. A cozinha, o minério e a dança. A vegetação. Pau-Brasil. 


The History of Brazil / Historia do Brasil 

Pero Vaz Caminha 

the discovery/a descoberta
We followed our way across this lengthy sea
Until the eighth day of Easter
We chanced upon birds
And caught sight of land

the savages/os selvagens
They showed them a chicken
They were almost scared
Refused to lay hands on it
Later they held it as if in awe

the station girls/as meninas da gare
They were three or four maidens very young and very fair
With very long black hair trailing down their backs
And their shameful parts so high and clean
That we from staring at them
Had not shame at all


Because the Land itself is such
And so favorable to those who seek it
That it gladly shelters and welcomes all 

It has the shape of a Harp
Bordering the highest Andean Mountains
And the Peruvian skirts
All standing so superbly high on Earth
That it is said the birds have trouble flying above them 

gold country/pais do ouro
All are provided for
And there are no poor persons
Begging from door to door
In these Kingdoms

still life/natureza morta
This fruit they call Pineapple
When ripe it has a very sweet smell
And is eaten carved into slices
And thus do the native inhabitants
And they hold it in greater esteem
Than any other apple tree in this land

natural riches/riquezas naturais
Many melons cucumbers pomegranates and figs
Of various stocks
Citrons lemons and oranges
A multitude
Many sugar canes
Endless cotton
There is also plenty of brazilwood
In these captaincies

columbus day/festa da raça
There lives in these parts too a certain animal
They call Sloth

With a thick mane on its neck
And it moves at such a slow pace
That even if it toiled for two weeks
It wouldn't conquer the distance of a stone's throw 


Pero Vaz Caminha// a descoberta/ Seguimos nosso caminho por êste mar de longo/ Até a oitava da Páscoa / Topamos aves/ E houvemos vista de terra// os selvagens/ Mostraram-lhes uma gallinha/ Quase haviam mêdo dela/ E não queriam pôr a mão/ E depois a tomaram como espantados// as meninas da gare/ Eram três ou quatro moças bem moças e bem gentis/ Com cabelos mui prêtos pelas espáduas/ E suas vergonhas tão altas le tão saradinhas/ Que de nós as muito bem olharmos/ Não tínhamos nenhuma vergonha// Gandavo// hospedagem/ Porque a mesma terra he tal/ E tam favorável aos que vam buscar/ Que a todos agazalha e convida// corografia/ Têm a forma de hua harpa/ Confina com as altíssimas terras dos Andes/ E faldas do Perú/ As quais são tão soberbas em cima da terra/ Que se diz terem as aves trabalho em as passar// país do ouro/ Todos têm remédio de vida/ E nenhum pobre anda pelas portas/ A mendigar como nestes Reinos// natureza morta/ A esta fruita chamam Ananazes/ Depois que sam maduras têm un cheiro muy suave/ E como-se aparados feitos em talhada/ E assi fazem os moradores por elle mais/ E os têm em mayor estima/ Que outro nenhum pomo que aja na terra// riquezas naturais/ Muitos metaes pepinos romans e figos/ De muitas castas/Cidras limões e laranjas/ Uma infinidade/ Muitas cannas daçucre/ Infinito algodam/Tambén há muito páo brasil/ Nestas capitanias// festa da raça/ Hu certo animal se acha também nestas partes/ A que chamam Preguiça/ Tem hua guedelha grande no toutiço/ E se move com passos tam vagarosos/ Que ainda que ande quinze dias aturado/ Não vencerá distância de um tiro de pedra


Excerpts from Cannibal Manifesto / Manifiesto antropofago

Odile Cisneros, trans. 

Only cannibalism unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically. 

Sole law of the world. Expression in disguise of all individualisms, all collectivisms. Of all religions. Of all peace treaties. 

Tupi or not Tupi—that is the question. 

Against all catechisms. And against the mother of the Gracchi.

Only what isn't mine interests me. Law of man. Law of the cannibal. 

We're weary of all those Catholic husbands playing scenes. Freud lay the enigma of woman to rest along with other scares of psychology in print. 

What was getting in the way of truth was clothes, a watertight barrier between the outside world and the inside world. A reaction against the dressed man. American film will keep us informed. 

Children of the sun, mother of the living. Found and ferociously loved, with all the nostalgic hypocrisy of saudade for the immigrants, the trafficked peoples, and the tourists. In the country of the big cobra. 

It was because we never had grammars or collections of old plants. And we never knew what urban, suburban, borderline, and continental meant. Lazy bums on the world map of Brazil. A participatory consciousness, a religious rhythmics. 



The spirit refuses to conceive of a disembodied spirit. Anthropomorphism. The need for a cannibalist vaccine. To compensate for the religions of the meridian. And the foreign inquisitions. 

We can only listen to the auricular world. 

We had justice, the codification of vengeance. Science, the codification of Magic. Cannibalism. The permanent transformation of Taboo into Totem. 


Logbooks. Scripts. Itineraries. Logbooks. Scripts. Itineraries. Logbooks. 


We were never converted. What we did was Carnival. The Indian, dressed as Senator of the Empire. Pretending to be Pitt. Or appearing in operas by Alencar, full of good Portuguese feelings.


We already had communism. What we already had surrealist language.

The Golden Age.

Catiti Catiti

Imara Notiá

Notiá Imara



Only where there's mystery, there's no determinism. But what does that have to do with us? 


If God is the consciouness of the Uncreated Universe, Guaraci is the mother of the living. Jaci is the mother of plants. 


The pater familias is the product of the Stork's Morality: Real ignorance about things + lack of imagination + feeling of authority vis-a-vis inquisitive offspring.


The created objective reacts like the Fallen Angels. Afterwards Moses began to ramble. What does that have to do with us?


Against the torch-bearing Indian. The Indian, son of Mary, godson of Catherine de' Medici and son-in-law of Don Antonio de Mariz.

Joy is the acid test.


Against social reality, dressed up and oppressive, mapped out by Freud— reality without complexes, without madness, without prostitutions or penal colonies in the matriarchy of Pindorama.

 In Piratininga
Anno 374 of the Deglutition of Bishop Sardinha.



Só a Antropofagia nos une. Socialmente. Economicamente. Filosoficamente.// Única lei do mundo. Expressão mascarada de todos os individualismos, de todos os coletivismos. De todas as religiões. De todos os tratados de paz.// Tupi, or not tupi that is the question.// Contra todas as catequeses. E contra a mãe dos Gracos.// Só me interessa o que não é meu. Lei do homem. Lei do antropófago.// Estamos fatigados de todos os maridos católicos suspeitosos postos em drama. Freud acabou com o enigma mulher e com outros sustos da psicologia impressa.// O que atropelava a verdade era a roupa, o impermeável entre o mundo interior e o mundo exterior. A reação contra o homem vestido. O cinema americano informará.// Filhos do sol, mãe dos viventes. Encontrados e amados ferozmente, com toda a hipocrisia da saudade, pelos imigrados, pelos traficados e pelos touristes. No país da cobra grande.// Foi porque nunca tivemos gramáticas, nem coleções de velhos vegetais. E nunca soubemos o que era urbano, suburbano, fronteiriço e continental. Preguiçosos no mapa-múndi do Brasil./ Uma consciência participante, uma rítmica religiosa.// ...O espírito recusa-se a conceber o espírito sem o corpo. O antropomorfismo. Necessidade da vacina antropofágica. Para o equilíbrio contra as religiões de meridiano. E as inquisições exteriores.// Só podemos atender ao mundo orecular.// Tínhamos a justiça codificação da vingança. A ciência codificação da Magia. Antropofagia. A transformação permanente do Tabu em totem.//. . . // Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros.//. . . // Nunca fomos catequizados. Fizemos foi Carnaval. O índio vestido de senador do Império. Fingindo de Pitt. Ou figurando nas óperas de Alencar cheio de bons sentimentos portugueses.// Já tínhamos o comunismo. Já tínhamos a língua surrealista. A idade de ouro./ Catiti Catiti/Imara Notiá/ Notiá Imara/Ipeju// . . . // Só não há determinismo onde há mistério. Mas que temos nós com isso?//. . . // Se Deus é a consciência do Universo Incriado, Guaraci é a mãe dos viventes. Jaci é a mãe dos vegetais.// ...O pater famílias e a criação da Moral da Cegonha: Ignorância real das coisas + falta de imaginação + sentimento de autoridade ante a prole curiosa.// ...O objetivo criado reage com os Anjos da Queda. Depois Moisés divaga. Que temos nós com isso?// . . . // Contra o índio de tocheiro. O índio filho de Maria, afilhado de Catarina de Médicis e genro de D. Antônio de Mariz.// A alegria é a prova dos nove.//. . . // Contra a realidade social, vestida e opressora, cadastrada por Freud—a realidade sem complexos, sem loucura, sem prostituições e sem penitenciárias do matriarcado de Pindorama.// OSWALD DE ANDRADE, Em Piratininga, Ano 374 da Deglutição do Bispo Sardinha.






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