Bandeira, Manuel Carneiro de Souza (1886–1968)

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Bandeira, Manuel Carneiro de Souza (1886–1968)

Manuel Carneiro de Souza Bandeira (b. 19 April 1886; d. 13 October 1968), Brazilian poet. Born in Recife, Pernambuco, Bandeira moved to Rio at the age of ten. He planned to be an architect, but his studies were interrupted by tuberculosis. While ill, he wrote verses that filled his idleness and alleviated his suffering, but eventually he began to write great poetry. His health improved, and in 1917 he published his first volume of poetry, A cinza das horas (The Ashes of the Hours).

He lived for thirteen years in a working-class suburb of Rio and later taught literature at the Pedro II School and what is now the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Bandeira's work has been divided into two not very distinct phases. The first comprises his three earliest collections of poems. A cinza das horas follows symbolist and Parnassian ideals. Carnaval (1919) reveals independent traits that depart from the literary conventions of the time and includes "Os Sapos," later a national anthem of the modernists. O ritmo dissoluto (Dissolute Rhythm, 1924) contains unconventional themes and forms.

Libertinagem (Libertinage, 1930) is the first volume of Bandeira's second phase. It reveals a transition to the modernistic aesthetic in several ways: the adoption of Portuguese as spoken in Brazil; prosaic themes; popular aspects of Brazilian culture; and humor, varying from fine irony to straight jokes. Additional works by Bandeira include Estrela da manhã (Morning Star, 1936), Lira dos cinqüent'anos (Lyrics of Fiftieth Birthday, 1940), Belo, Belo in his Poesias Completas (3d ed., 1948), Mafuá do malungo (2d ed., 1954), De poetas e poesia (1954), A Brief History of Brazilian Literature (1958), Estrela da tarde (Evening Star, 1963), Estrela da vida inteira (Whole Life Star, 1966), Andorinha, andorinha (1966), and Poesia completa e prosa (4th ed., 1983). This Earth, That Sky: Poems by Manuel Bandeira, translated by Candice Slater, appeared in 1988.

Bandeira continued to be open to new approaches, even having written concretist poems. He always remained, however, an essentially lyric poet. His poetry, often tinged with irony, melancholy, and tragic humor, betrays reminiscences of his own life. He is also recognized as a literary critic, anthologist, essayist, and translator.

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Gilda E Antônio Cândido, "Introdução," in Estrela da vida inteira (1966).

Claude L. Hulet, "Manuel Bandeira," in Brazilian Literature, edited by Claude L. Hulet, vol. 3 (1975), pp. 9-24.

Joaquim Francisco Coelho, Biopoética de Manuel Bandeira (1981), and Manuel Bandeira, pré-modernista (1982).

Emmanuel De Morais, "Uma vida cada vez mais cheia de tudo," in Bandeira's Vou-me embora pra Pasárgata (1986).

Gilberto Mendonça Teles, "Manuel Bandeira," in Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé and Maria Isabel Abreu, vol. 2 (1989), pp. 629-641.

                                    Maria Isabel Abreu