Brazilian Poetry, words and thoughts

Today is Tuesday, terça-feira. (alliteration sorta, hey!) Every Tuesday afternoon, my Brazilian Poetry class meets to count syllables, play word association games, and in some cases, write free-verse poetry on the spot – inspired by many great Brazilian writers. Every other week, we are assigned to paraphrase, write a parody, or an original poem inspired by a writer from each successive Literary movement (so far, we have seen: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Symbolism, and Modernism.)

At first, this class terrified me, to say the least. But with time, I’ve come to feel comfortable in the mess of language in my head, and my professor and classmates have eagerly encouraged my participation, as well. So that’s helped quite a bit! Also, word association games always turn funny when I throw random English words into the mess, or when I accidentally say the first thing that’s on my mind…which is frequently a curse word, woops! It’s a good environment. We all have fears, we all have doubts about expressing ourselves – but really, that’s what makes it okay.

This week, I nurse my cup of coffee and muse that I may just be a true contemporary Modernist poet, one who breaks the rules of language to express ideas which may not apparently make much sense, logically. (Which is usually what happens when I try to have any multi-lingual conversation, now-a-days.)

So, I offer my parody of this poem, by Oswald de Andrade.

Erro de língua

A traição na tradução:

Letras e palavras perdidas

Em sons silênciosos.

Que pena!

Não? Não! Oui –

Palavras sim enganam.

(Google translate almost does this justice!)

Error of language
Betrayal in translation:
Words and letters lost
In silent sounds.
What a pity!
No? No! Oui –
Words can be deceiving.


Museo Julio de Castilhos

então tá – Viva poetry! And if you, dear reader, enjoy writing anything at all that may seem silly, do it anyway. (if you’re learning another language – maybe try doodling something up in foreign words?) Because it’s fun, and it’s pretty liberating.

Tuesday’s in Porto Alegre .. Off to class now! Até mais gente, until next time. –Michelle


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