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THE STATUTES OF MAN
OS ESTATUTOS DO HOMEM
Thiago de Mello
Santiago - Chile - April 1964
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus
(EXCERPT: SEE COMPLETE POEM)
|To let go of fear
The essence of
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Article 14 (Final)
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.
I think that Latin American poetry, today, is essentially
connected to Latin-American life. Poetry serves life. Poetry,
obviously, is an art, but this art should serve life. That is,
besides having an aesthetic purpose, it should have an
ethical value. Poetry should not only serve beauty, it should
also serve the good. The good of life.
~ THIAGO DE MELLO during a telephone interview with Lêda Rivas,
Diário de Pernambuco, Brazil, 1996.
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus.
SONGS OF THE FOREST
MANAUS - AMAZONAS
THIAGO DE MELLO
TV JORNAL DO BRASIL
18 MAY 2012
(DURATION: 5:33 MINUTES)
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, 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
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.
As a poet who
and human dignity,
he is active in
and winning social
justice for the people
AMAZONAS, located in
the northwestern corner
of Brazil, is the largest
state by area. The
capital, Manaus, has a
population of over 1.6
million (IBGE 2011).