Antonio de Castro Alves, (born March 14, 1847, Muritiba, Braz.--died July 6, 1871, Salvador), Romantic poet whose sympathy for the Brazilian abolitionist cause won him the name "poet of the slaves."While still a student Castro Alves produced a play that brought him to the attention of Jose de Alencar and Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Brazilian literary leaders. Having studied for the law, he soon became a dominant figure among the Condoreira (Condor) school of poets, likened, for their dedication to lofty causes and for their preference for elevated style, to the highest flying birds in the..
Antonio Goncalves Dias, (born Aug. 10, 1823, Boa Vista, near Caxias, Maranhao, Braz.--died Nov. 3, 1864, off the coast of Maranhao), Romantic poet generally regarded as the national poet of Brazil. His "Cancao do Exilio" (1843; "Song of Exile"), beginning "Minha terra tem palmeiras" ("My land has palm trees"), is known to every Brazilian schoolchild.Though Goncalves Dias lived much of the time abroad following his education at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, his songs, published as Primeiros Cantos (1846; "First Poems"), Segundos Cantos (1848; "More Poems"), and Ultimos Cantos..
Cecilia Meireles, (born November 7, 1901, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--died November 9, 1964, Rio de Janeiro), poet, teacher, and journalist, whose lyrical and highly personal poetry, often simple in form yet containing complex symbolism and imagery, earned her an important position in 20th-century Brazilian literature.Orphaned at an early age and brought up by her grandmother, Meireles began to write poetry at the age of nine. She became a public school teacher at 16 and two years later established her literary reputation with the publication of Espectros (1919; "Ghosts"), a collection of..
Murilo Mendes, (born May 13, 1901, Juiz de Fora, Braz.--died Aug. 14, 1975, Lisbon, Port.), Brazilian poet and diplomat who played an important role in Brazilian Modernismo after 1930, though from 1956 he was a teacher and cultural attache in Italy.Mendes's early poems, characterized by ironic good humour and a colloquial vocabulary, illuminated the creative, chaotic forces within Brazilian everyday life. His later works show an increasing Surrealist influence. Following his conversion to Roman Catholicism (1934), he collaborated with Jorge de Lima in the creation of metaphysical poetry..
Joao da Cruz e Sousa, (born Nov. 24, 1861, Desterro, Braz.--died March 19, 1898, Sitio), poet, the leading figure of the Symbolist movement in Brazil.Cruz e Sousa was the son of freed slaves. He traveled widely throughout Brazil in early adulthood, both as a member of a theatrical company and in abolitionist campaigns. His first poems were published in 1877, but his career gained momentum shortly after 1890, when he came in contact with the literary circle of Rio de Janeiro. His three best-known collections of poetry were published in the 1890s: Broqueis (1893; "Shields"), Missal (1893; a volume..
Jose de Santa Rita Durao, (born 1722?, Cata Preta, Brazil--died Jan. 24, 1784, Lisbon, Port.), Brazilian epic poet, best known for his long poem Caramuru. Durao was a pioneer in his use of the South American Indians as subjects of literature.After an education at the Jesuit college in Rio de Janeiro, Durao obtained the degree of doctor of theology (1756) at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Two years later he entered the Gratian convent of the Order of St. Augustine, where he offended his superiors by his openly expressed regard for the Jesuits, who had been expelled from Portugal and Brazil..
Gregorio de Matos Guerra, also called Gregorio De Mattos E Guerra, (born 1636?, Salvador, Brazil--died Oct. 19, 1696, Recife), poet who was the most colourful figure in early Brazilian literature. He was called the Brazilian Villon.Born into the slave-owning gentry, Matos studied law at Coimbra, Port., and advanced to a high position in Lisbon until he fell into disfavour for using his caustic wit at the expense of court society. Returning to Bahia while in his 40s, he practiced law after his own fashion, sometimes defending the poor without charge. His sarcastic epigrams (directed chiefly..
Basilio da Gama, in full Jose Basilio da Gama, (born 1740, Sao Jose do Rio das Mortes, Braz.--died July 31, 1795, Lisbon, Port.), neoclassical poet and author of the Brazilian epic poem O Uraguai (1769), an account of the Portuguese-Spanish expedition against the Jesuit-controlled reservation Indians of the Uruguay River basin.Gama completed his novitiate with the Jesuits in 1759. In that same year the order was expelled from Brazil and all other Portuguese possessions, and he eventually left Brazil for Rome. On his return to Brazil in 1767 he was sent by the Inquisition to Lisbon where, as a..
Manuel Bandeira, in full Manuel Carneiro de Sousa Bandeira Filho, (born April 19, 1886, Recife, Braz.--died Oct. 13, 1968, Rio de Janeiro), poet who was one of the principal figures in the Brazilian literary movement known as Modernismo.Bandeira was educated in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, but in 1903 tuberculosis forced him to abandon his dream of becoming an architect. He spent the next several years traveling in search of a cure, and during this period he read widely and resumed writing poetry. He also met the French poet Paul Eluard at a Swiss sanatorium.In his poetry, Bandeira abandoned the..