Poem: "The Statutes of Man"
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The Statutes of Man by Thiago de Mello
English Rendition:
Os Estatutos do Homem
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus

Article 1
It is decreed that now the truth counts,
that now life counts,
and hand in hand,
we will all work for a life that’s true.

Article 2
It is decreed that every day of the week,
including the greyest Tuesdays,
has the right to become Sunday mornings.

Article 3
It is decreed, from this moment on,
there will be sunflowers in every window,
that all sunflowers will have the right
to open in the shade;
and that windows should be open, all day long,
to the green where hope grows.

Article 4
It is decreed that man
will never again
doubt his fellowman.
That man will trust in man
like the palm tree trusts the wind,
like the wind trusts the air,
like the air trusts the open blue sky.
Man will trust his fellowman
like a child trusts another child.

Article 5
It is decreed that men
are free from the yoke of lies.
Never more to use
the breastplate of silence
nor armament of words.
Man will sit at the table
with a clean look
because truth will be served
before dessert.  

Article 6
It is decreed, for all centuries,
the dream of the Prophet Isaiah:
the wolf and the lamb will graze together
and their food will taste like the aurora.  

Article 7
By irrevocable decree it is established
the permanent reign of justice and clarity,
and happiness will be a generous flag
unfurled forever in the soul of the people.

Article 8
It is decreed that the greatest pain
always was and always will be
inability to bestow love to the one loved
and to know that water
gives the plant the miracle of the flower.

Article 9
It is permitted that the bread of each day
bears the trademark of man’s sweat.
But above all must always have
the piquant taste of tenderness.

Article 10
It is permitted that any person,
at any time in life,
to dress in white.

Article 11
It is decreed, by definition,
that man is an animal that loves
and for this reason is beautiful,
much more beautiful than the Morning Star.

Article 12
It is decreed that nothing
will be imposed or forbidden.
Everything will be permitted,
including playing with a rhinoceros
and walking in the afternoons
with an immense begonia in one’s lapel.
Only one thing is forbidden:
To love without love.

Article 13
It is decreed that money
will never more buy
the sunshine of mornings to come.
Driven from the large chest of fear,
money will become a fraternal sword
to defend the right to sing
and the sunshine of a new day.

Final Article
It is forbidden
the use of the word freedom,
which will be abolished from all dictionaries
and from the deceptive quagmire of mouths.
From this moment on
freedom will be alive and transparent
like a fire, a river,
or like a grain of wheat
and its home will always be
within the heart of man.
SOURCE: Original Poem in Portuguese
Written while in exile in Santiago, Chile, in 1964, in response
to the Brazilian military junta which had seized power in
Brazil that same year, issuing a series of repressive
extra-constitutional decrees.
Thiago de Mello - Brazilian Poet
BRAZILIAN POET
(Born 1926)
Thiago de Mello, born
in Barreirinha in
Amazonas, is an
acclaimed poet in his
native Brazil and
around the world. A
poet since childhood,
he abandoned his
medical studies to
become a poet. In
1951, he received his
first literary success
with his book,
Silêncio
e Palavra
(Silence and
Word). During the
military takeover in
1964, he was
arrested, imprisoned,
and exiled for his
resistance. While in
exile in Chile, he
became friends with
Pablo Neruda and
other Latin American
writers. He returned to
Brazil in 1978.

addresses freedom
and human dignity,
he is active in
preserving the
Amazon Rainforest
and winning social
justice for the people
of Amazônia.  
WATCH & LISTEN
OS ESTATUTOS
DO HOMEM
RECITED BY
THIAGO DE MELLO
TV JORNAL DO BRASIL
18 MAY 2012
(DURATION: 5:33 MINUTES)
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