Brazil Contemporary Literature – Opera

In opera Parnassianism has long retained its dominance; but, having limited itself in Brazil almost exclusively to the predilection of special metric forms (the sonnet above all) and of classical reminiscences, the lyric has been able to retain its spontaneous freedom of motifs that are now romantic, now typically Brazilian.

On the other hand, the search for new rhythms had no resonance in Brazil; and the differences between the major poets, between Machado de Assis, p. eg., and Alberto de Oliveira, between Raymundo Corrêa, Olavo Bilac and Vicente de Carvalho, consist of the various imprint given by them to traditional meters.

According to directoryaah, a different fate only happened to the barbarian meters of Carducci and d’Annunzio, thanks to the work of Carlos Magalhães de Azeredo, poet and short story writer, critic and historian, who, adopting them in his much discussed book of Odes and elegias (1904), has given them a course of its own, or, as Carducci himself wrote to him, “something happy and proper”. Even the Portuguese ode renewed Azeredo, one of the first to go as far as the same free verse in the Symphonia evangelica (1917); much earlier, and with different intentions, of the “modernists”. As Alberto de Oliveira defined him, he appears “the most dynamic of Brazilian poets”, in the numerous collections of published lyrics: Procellarias (1898),(1903). Odes and elegias (1904), Vida and sonho (1919). Close to Azeredo in various aspects of his poetic sentiment and his culture is Mario de Alencar, although different from him in his desolate Leopardian pessimism. Both have a separate place in Brazilian poetry, as does Amadeu Amaral (1876-1929), who gradually broke away from Parnassianism in Nevoas, Espumas, Lamp antiga. More faithful to this school remain Goulart de Andrade, Hermes Fontes, Martins Fontes, Jorge Jobim, Goffredo Telles, Cassiano Ricardo, Luiz Guimarães, worthy son of the great poet of the same name, Costa e Silva, Luiz Carlos and also, in the first part, perhaps more characteristic and sincere of their production, Menotti del Picchia and Guilherme de Almeida, later attracted to the modernist current.

The latter, and with him Olegario Marianno, reveal their own peculiar sentimental lyricism that links them, with more current themes and a more refined style, to some poets of the second romantic period. In the vague and sweet melancholy of Ribeiro do Couto one can see not doubt symbolist influences, and the reflections of those who were called “crepuscular” poets. Pereira da Silva and Ronald de Carvalho belong to the series of poets for whom rerum naturaand the problems of the moral life are the main source of inspiration: in the first the metaphysical preoccupation is tinged with vehement personal sensitivity; in the second, younger, he tries to soar in the more serene regions of pure thought; while in others, as in the very young Caio de Mello Franco, it is diluted in an elegantly sad amateurism or in an ironic agnosticism a la Anatole France. And this is also the case, more or less, of Alvaro Moreyra. Faced in his own ways, Adelmar Tavares reflects in his clear verses the simplicity of popular sentiment, and Aloysio de Castro, who, in his maturity, also proved to be excellent in poetry after having already acquired a reputation as a good prose writer, recalls, even in his modern sensibility, the sweetest Portuguese lyrics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Among the poets stand out Julia Cortines, Maria Eugenia Celso, Francisca Julia da Silva, Rosalina Lisbõa, also Parnassians, who remained faithful to the rules of a clear and somewhat cold formal perfection; Gilka Machado, who, at the other extreme, pours into his poetry a torrent of wild passion and primitive sensuality, and, in absolute contrast to this temperament, Auta de Souza, a mystical soul who died at the age of twenty.

Finally, a peculiarity of Brazil is the work of illiterate, errant, obscure, often anonymous folk poets who, among many sloppiness and insignificant rhapsodism, sometimes create jewels of poetry. In the interior of the country, among the populace of the fields, the common language is spoken with more or less notable inaccuracies, which are reflected in the Trovas and other spontaneous forms of singing. From this world, almost ignored, in recent years a poet has arisen, who from his native Ceará came to the federal capital, quickly gained a national reputation with dialectal verses: Catullo da Paixão Cearense, a true troubadour, who sings his verses accompanied by the notes of the violão: impetuous and tender lyric, all vibrant with the passionate temperament, the dark religiosity, half pagan and half Christian, which dominate the life of the nomads.

Brazil Contemporary Literature - Opera