Poetry by Mário de Andrade



the sergeant with those fast-running boys
on the football field

what advanced paulistan winners
against invisible uruguayan fugitives…
we won easily.
as usual…

and the happy rest.
I like myself this morning.
my nostrils wave
take my eyes to far away’s party
shaky mouth of mellow smiling
and I suck dawn’s cup
whose wine is pinkier
than a rubāʿi of Omar Khayam



all is forgotten while sawing.

…um-dois, um-dois, um-dois, um-dois, um-dois,
um-dois, um-dois, um-dois,
um-dois, um-dois, um-dois, um-dois,
**************um-dois, um-dois, um-
um-dois, um-dois, um-dois, um-dois,

– beautiful!



pleasures and pains hold the soul in the body
like a nail. they make it corporeal…consequently
it’s impossible for the soul to arrive pure in hell.

my profound delight in light of the morning sun
*********************a vida carnaval…
the immigrant children surround me they ask for pictures of
[movie stars, these that come in the
*************[cigarette packs

I feel like Murillo’s assumption!



plato! for following you as I wished
freeing myself from happiness and pain
being pure, like the gods that quimera
followed beyond life constructing!

but how not to gorge happiness when
this opal spring morning shines
sensual woman that next to me passing
my desire for c’ming exasperates!

life is beautiful! useless the theories!
a hundred times the nudity at which I shine
to the chlamys of science, austere and calm!
the path between smells and harmonies
cursing the wise, blessing
the divine impurity of my soul



I cum for you!…
humanely, manly.

but now this insistence on writing verses about you…


XXVII (a menina e a cabra)

the girl throws a fit in order to pull the goat
scared while sliding on asphalt
between the tram’s bells
and the powdery velocity of automobiles…

…a whole flock of goats…
the goats graze noon’s grass…
and at serra’s dead solitude
not a horn’s touch.
cachorro feio de olhos grandes encomiados nos pelos.
besides the stones moved by small lizards,
where the sun chapinha na agua agitada
chomps its teeth on the golden cheese
licious, pastor.



there’s no worth in intelligence.
it’s a waste of time to hate the ones that deserve hatred
saudei-o muito sorrindo.
love sang through my salutation…

he however was cheap.
in the Modern Art Week there was a
number of events that almost no one saw:

saudei-o muito sorrindo…
and not by influence of the weather
it’s hot.
it will rain.
nasty clouds.
and fatigue forms heat within me.

saudei-o muito sorrindo…
my god, forgive me!
I strongly believe I love mankind out of love for mankind!
I wouldn’t write Ode ao Burguês anymore

nor many other verses from Hallucinated City,
I have a mapa-mundi de estados-de-alma.
pauliceia, passagem do equador…
it was cold in the Parnasianismo…
aha! why return to old landscapes!

********************ten kilometros..
***********four kilometros…
****thirteen kilometros…
the train remains fast.
stops in each station.
I brush my hair in the mirror.
— you’ve changed a lot.
— I’m stouter.
I get down.
but the sergeant whistles.
whistles again.
**************I go back up.
trem em marcha…

where will life’s mobilization go!



the morning spins softly next to me
between skyscrapers of light
constructed by Earth’s best engineer.

how did he outperform sr. dr. Ramos de Azevedo’s
what’s worth the Escola Normal o Théatre Municipal de
and the sinuous building of the Correios-e-Telégrafos
with that clock-diadema made inexpressively?

in the hallucinated city of my senses
Sun is mr. official engineer.



dark previsions,
another stop,
future revolutions,
the mr. president of the republic
believes in the fidelity of his subjects
and everything ends in dancing!
that’s why corporal machado walks um-dois

neither saudade nor pleasure.
i’ve inebriated myself with mornings and the unforeseen
sentimental drinkings…
my original vice.

we remember esquerda-volver e meias-voltas…
volta e meia we’ll do.

it’s certain that it makes me happy
not being forced to fake any more proud looks to the front
secretly I preferred the broken gaze of love.
and we have more stuff to do.

i’m not one of those to whom monday is exactly like

I work as a bee
when is flowery in la fruteira.
I run my life with the velocity of electrons
however knowing how to stop beside the complacent views
and the portals of sacred tupanarocas.
eis a vida.
v’la paris…

_ ordinary, march,
for my wonderful twenty-nine years!

after all,
this month of military exercises:
khaki diamond in my life.




(September 7, 1922)

“—columns of pelotes por quatro!”

the runway show begins

o refle rombudo da soldadesca marching
gently sheathes the avenue.

“—check the conversion!”
conversion of s. paulo
everyone converges to the left.
there’s Bilac wearing the bronze attire for the first time
patria latejo em ti
my brasilzinho do coração!
people’s souls draping on the grey space
a thousand million paulistan roses.

moça bonita!
muitas moças.
“—change the step!”

gi, taco, maria, how beautiful the three of you!
maquinas cinematograficas
my boy.
I can’t laugh.
proud look to the front…

in front of me
the cabo mais descabido deste mundo.
curious augusta street
spying curiously through the transversal street
trepadas em trincheiras de automóveis.
moça bonita!
profiling scout’s grate
wedges, decrepit old ladies leaning over
the parapet of infantile children

the mitre’s families in fortress
present weapons in negligee
****************zero uniforme.

this corporal walks behind the beat
cinco por quatro,
like Boieldieu and la dame blanche
“viens, gentille dame”…
Alberniz’s Zortzico…
disrupts the entire march!

moça bonita!
“—look at mário de andrade!”

you’re mistaken, moça.

where will I be?
she for sure didn’t come…
why do I care!
may the city of s. paulo know
that in it there’s a happy man!

“—check the cadency!”

the trianon is passing
the tenente gesticulates with the sword
and everyone looks to the right in salutation.
thirty adorable faces.
this family from sorocaba…
all professional in my eyes um-dois…
the negro,
red lips in front of the rest.
moça bonita!
***no alto dum palanquim
***your excellence the marriage of khajurao
the mr. president of the state doesn’t like modernism

look at me!
“—out of shape!
forty days in prison!..”
**********oh, my hallucinations!

moça bonita!
passou o palanquim.
serenely continued her journey
your excellence the marriage of khajurao.
and the diademas of polished pearls.
in the laughter of the favorites.
tons of moças bonitas!
***“—viva o brasil!”
*****“—viva o quarto batalhao de cacadores!”

don’t miss the step, cabo!
a sir three fat children
******fake necklaces,

the worrying is reaching its end —
arms hurt.
the avenue escampou.
no more moça bonita.
where are the palms?
i don’t exist.

I don’t march.
very far
nos cafundos penumbristas de santo amaro
the vacuum badalando badalando…
echoes inside of me.
there’s no more brazilian independence
dead eyes.
why so much drumming?
my arms don’t even hurt anymore.
smells of mayonnaise lunches
sun crested in the clouds just like bread
***kennst du das land
***wo die Zitronen blühen?…
******missing ghosts
********the world doesn’t exist.
*****i don’t exist.
*****i am not.


I’d give ten million dollars for a glass of milk.


Mário de Andrade

Mário de Andrade (1893–1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. He was the driving force behind the Week of Modern Art, the 1922 event that reshaped both literature and the visual arts in Brazil, and a member of the avant-garde “Group of Five.” At the end of his life, he became the founding director of São Paulo’s Department of Culture, formalizing a role he had long held as the catalyst of the city’s—and the nation’s—entry into artistic modernity.

Ana Paula

Ana Paula is a Brazilian writer, translator, researcher, and curator. Her work can be found or is forthcoming at the PEN Poetry Series, The Brooklyn Rail, Bone Bouquet, and Boston Review. She lives in Brooklyn, where she's a member of Belladonna* Collaborative.

English translation copyright (c) Ana Paula, 2018.