Accioly’s contemporary regional poetry

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When it was launched, in 1971, Nordestinados secured some famous fans for the Pernambucan poet Marcus Accioly. “Poet of the people from the northeast, poet of my predilection”, wrote Bahian Jorge Amado. “Great poet (…) A poet – I repeat -, among the greatest in Brazil”, complimented Gilberto Freyre. Yesterday, at the Pernambuco Academy of Letters, the fourth edition of his book was launched, commemorating 45 years since it was published, with a signing and singing session. The CD “Nordestinados – the poetry of Marcus Accioly with music by César Barreto” comes with each copy.

The stories take place in the Mata-Seca and in the Mata Úmida, in the Laureano and Jaguabara sugarcane mills. “Se vê na Mata-Úmida / Casas-canavieiras: / De barro-massapê / E folhas de palmeiras”, sings the poet in the book that brings forth the Agreste and Sertão. “It’s part of the world I wanted, contradictorially, preserve and destroy: to preserve through the private-boy and destroy in the face of the plural-man that, similar to sugar cane, is being squeezed of all of his blood, even his human waste, through tradition.”

“Belonging to the group of writers and artists from the Northeast that, from the 1960s til now, have submersed themselves in popular roots, of Luso-Iberian origin, hidden in the ballads and songbooks, in the Cordel literature and in the singing, in the music, the engravings and primitive sculptures, Marcus Accioly is one of the poets that are trying to recover poetry in its primitive nature: the word that was born from song and is perpetuated in the popular voice”, writes Nelly Novaes Coelho, essayist, literary critic and professor, in the preface of Nordestinados. This book stands out, over 40 years after its launch, as one of the most important guidelines of contemporary regional poetry, and it doesn’t just offer landscapes, but man and his reality. – Source (PT)

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There’s a documentary about Accioly and how he composes his verses, called Castelo de Accioly, but it doesn’t seem to be online, but I’ll leave a trailer of sorts below, as well as one of the poems/songs from the CD mentioned above (check out others on Youtube – they’re of similar good quality).

O Sertão principia / The hinterland starts
Depois que acaba a terra / After the earth ends
Ou, sendo mais exato / Or, being more exact
Onde começa a pedra / Where the stone begins.

E segue o Sertão-Alto: / And the High-Sertã0 follows:
Pajeú, Moxotó / Pajeú, Moxotó
Onde termina o mundo / Where the world ends
E então começa o sol / And then the sun begins.

Ou desce o Sertão-Baixo / Or the Lower-Sertão descends
Do rio São Francisco / From the San Francisco river
Que ostenta uma paisagem / Which boasts a landscape
De pássaros e bichos / Of birds and beasts.

Embora o tempo durma / Even though time sleeps
Os sonos da estiagem / The slumbers of drought
Nas curtas invernadas / In the short winters
O verde abre a folhagem / Green opens up the foliage.

E quando as águas descem / And when the waters descend
Das cabeceiras curvas / From the curved headwaters
A pedra ressuscita / The stone is ressurected
Lavrada pelas chuvas / Washed by the rains.

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