“Brazil is founded on genius”–so wrote Dr Monteiro in 1853. One of the nation’s geniuses was a young poet named Alvares de Azevedo who wanted to revolutionize his country’s idea of romanticism.
The corpse without blessings, unburied,
Thrown to the crows of the uncultivated grassland,
The manly forehead shot through,
To imperial sleep with cold lips
May pass in faded scorn.
Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (1831–52), referred to usually as Álvares de Azevedo, was Brazil’s most famous Romantic poet. Yet because his works have never been translated into English, Azevedo remains unknown to most British and American scholars.
‘Desanimo’ [Dejection] first appeared in Álvares de Azevedo’s posthumous collection of poetry titled Lira dos Vinte Anos (1853).