07 March 2011

Sonho de uma terça-feira gorda: A Dream of Fat Tuesday

I was with you. Our dominoes were black,
(And black were our masks.
We went, amid the throng, with solemnity,
Well aware of our darkness
As contrasted with the feeling of happiness
That we penetrated. A slow, gentle joy
…..That which we penetrated the penetrated as a
(Sword of fire...
As the flaming sword that stabbed the holy ecstatic.
Manuel Bandeira

Manuel Carneiro de Souza Bandeira Filho (1886-1968) was a Brazilian poet who is remembered for his contributions to Modernismo. Suffering from tuberculosis he was forced to abandon his architectural studies. While he traveled in Europe searching for a cure he encountered many of the prominent authors and painters of the time. Bandeira’s poetry deals with the limits of the human body but also explores distinctive Brazilian themes such as Terça-feira Gorda or Fat Tuesday. Carnival is a wild celebration that precedes the deprivation of Lent much as the poet’s work wanders between life and mortality.


  1. I feel inadequate to comment upon Bandiera's work, it is a moving snippet.
    The commedia figures I of course adore and feel free to revel in with delight, even post Ash Wednesday!
    Thank you, enjoy Lent, I always do,

  2. Thank you Leo, Bandiera is considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets but his work is a little obscure to the non-Portuguese speaking world. Some of his poems have been translated into English but unfortunately the above fragment is not one of them so I have probably butchered it.

    I celebrated Fat Tuesday by adopting a little feral kitten that I have named Terceira. xo, Kendra


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