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ASTRID CABRAL

OSWALD DE ANDRADE

OSWALD DE ANDRADE
(1890-1954)
 

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


HIP! HIP! HOOVER!

(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
Guanabara*
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
Hoover!

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

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

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.

3RD OF MAY

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


DITHYRANB

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)

 

ESCAPED BLACK

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

 

NATIONAL LIBRARY

 

         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

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

         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

 

 

FUNERAL PROCESSION

 

         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.)

 

 

EPITAPH

 

         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. 

 

TOPO VOLTAR PARA BRAZILIAN POETRY

 

 

 
 
 
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