Carlos Drummond de Andrade

carlos drummond de andrade was a writer and a poet from Brazil

Brazil, a country known for its vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and passionate people, has also been the birthplace of some of the most influential literary figures in the world. One such luminary is Carlos Drummond de Andrade, a poet whose words have woven themselves into the very fabric of Brazilian literature. In this Dica, we’ll delve into the life, works, poems, books and enduring legacy of Carlos Drummond de Andrade. What about learning more about one of Carlos Drummond de Andrade most famous poems Travelling in the Family with a translation in English?

Early Life and Background

Carlos Drummond de Andrade was born on October 31, 1902, in Itabira, a small town in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Growing up in a middle-class family, he experienced the socio-economic and cultural transformations of Brazil in the early 20th century. His formative years were marked by a rich exposure to literature and an early interest in the written word.

Drummond de Andrade’s literary journey began in the 1920s when he became associated with the Modernist movement in Brazil. This movement aimed to break away from traditional literary forms and explore new ways of expression. Drummond de Andrade, along with other prominent writers of the time, sought to capture the essence of the Brazilian people and their struggles through their works.

One of his earliest and most acclaimed poetry collections is “Alguma Poesia” (Some Poetry), published in 1930. This collection marked the beginning of a prolific career that spanned several decades. Drummond de Andrade’s poetry often explored existential themes, love, and the complexities of human emotions. His verses were characterized by a unique blend of simplicity and profound insight.

example of the use for you, sir, madam in portuguese: todos querem uma foto com o senhor carlos drummond de andrade.

Poems and Books by Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Several of Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s works have become timeless classics in Brazilian literature. “Sentimento do Mundo” (The Feeling of the World), published in 1940, is regarded as a masterpiece that reflects the poet’s observations on the world during a tumultuous period in history. The collection encompasses a wide range of themes, from the personal to the universal, offering a poignant reflection on the human condition. Another notable book is “Claro Enigma” (Clear Enigma), published in 1951, which further solidified Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s reputation as a leading figure in Brazilian literature. This collection delves into the complexities of life, blending introspection with a keen awareness of the external world.

No Meio do Caminho by Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Perhaps his most famous poem is a short and simple one. No Meio do Caminho (In the middle of the way) is a poem taught to Brazilians since they are children. The pedras (stones) mentioned in this poem can be classified as obstacles that people encounter in life, described in this case as a caminho (path). Let’s analyze one of Carlos Drummond de Andrade poems in English so we can understand it better!

No meio do Caminho do poeta Drummond.

No meio do caminho tinha uma pedra
tinha uma pedra no meio do caminho
tinha uma pedra
no meio do caminho tinha uma pedra.

Nunca me esquecerei desse acontecimento
na vida de minhas retinas tão fatigadas.
Nunca me esquecerei que no meio do caminho
tinha uma pedra
tinha uma pedra no meio do caminho
no meio do caminho tinha uma pedra.

In the middle of the path there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the path
there was a stone
In the middle of the path there was a stone.

I will never forget this event
in the life of my so tired eyes.
I will never forget that in the middle of the path
there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the path
In the middle of the path there was a stone.

Travelling in the Family by Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Let’s now take some time to analyze another one of Carlos Drummond de Andrade poems called Travelling in the Family, which will have a translation to English so you might understand it better. Travelling in the Family (Viagem na Família in Portuguese) is a poignant exploration of the passage of time, family dynamics, and the interconnectedness of generations. The poem reflects Drummond de Andrade’s contemplative and introspective style, offering readers a glimpse into the complexities of familial relationships.

No deserto de Itabira
a sombra de meu pai
tomou-me pela mão.
Tanto tempo perdido.
Porém nada dizia.
Não era dia nem noite.
Suspiro? Voo de pássaro?
Porém nada dizia.

Longamente caminhamos.
Aqui havia uma casa.
A montanha era maior.
Tantos mortos amontoados,
o tempo roendo os mortos.
E nas casas em ruína,
desprezo frio, humildade.
Porém nada dizia.

A rua que atravessava
a cavalo, de galope.
Seu relógio. Sua roupa.
Seus papéis de circunstância.
Suas histórias de amor.
Há um abrir de baús
e de lembranças violentas.
Porém nada dizia.

No deserto de Itabira
as coisas voltam a existir,
irrespiráveis e súbitas.
O mercado de desejos
expõe seus tristes tesouros;
meu anseio de fugir;
mulheres nuas; remorso.
Porém nada dizia.

Pisando livros e cartas,
viajamos na família.
Casamentos; hipotecas;
os primos tuberculosos;
a tia louca; minha avó
traída com as escravas,
rangendo sedas na alcova.
Porém nada dizia.

Que cruel, obscuro instinto
movia sua mão pálida
subtilmente nos empurrando
pelo tempo e pelos lugares
Olhei-o nos olhos brancos.
Gritei-lhe: Fala! Minha voz
vibrou no ar um momento,
bateu nas pedras. A sombra
prosseguia devagar
aquela viagem patética
através do reino perdido.
Porém nada dizia.

Vi mágoa, incompreensão
e mais de uma velha revolta
a dividir-nos no escuro.
A mão que eu não quis beijar,
o prato que me negaram,
recusa em pedir perdão.
Orgulho. Terror noturno.
Porém nada dizia.

Fala fala fala fala.
Puxava pelo casaco
que se desfazia em barro.
Pelas mãos, pelas botinas
prendia a sombra severa
e a sombra se desprendia
sem fuga nem reação.
Porém ficava calada.

E eram distintos silêncios
que se entranhavam no seu.
Era meu avô já surdo
querendo escutar as aves
pintadas no céu da igreja;
a minha falta de amigos;
a sua falta de beijos;
eram nossas difíceis vidas
e uma grande separação
na pequena área do quarto.

A pequena área da vida
me aperta contra o seu vulto,
e nesse abraço diáfano
é como se eu me queimasse
todo, de pungente amor.
Só hoje nos conhecermos!
Óculos, memórias, retratos
fluem no rio do sangue.
As águas já não permitem
distinguir seu rosto longe,
para lá de setenta anos…
Senti que me perdoava
porém nada dizia.

As águas cobrem o bigode,
a família, Itabira, tudo.

In the Itabira desert
my father’s shadow
took me by the hand.
So much wasted time.
But he said nothing.
It was neither day nor night.
Sigh? Bird flight?
But he said nothing.

We walked for a long time.
There was a house here.
The mountain was bigger.
So many dead piled up,
time gnawing at the dead.
And in ruined houses,
cold contempt, humility.
But he said nothing.

The street that crossed
on horseback, at a gallop.
His watch. His clothes.
His circumstance roles.
His love stories.
There is an opening of chests
and violent memories.
But he said nothing.

In the Itabira desert
things come back into existence,
unbreathable and sudden.
The wish market
exposes its sad treasures;
my longing to escape;
naked women; remorse.
But he said nothing.

Stepping over books and letters,
We travel as a family.
Weddings; mortgages;
the tuberculous cousins;
the crazy aunt; my grandmother
betrayed with the slaves,
creaking silks in the alcove.
But he said nothing.

What a cruel, dark instinct
moved his pale hand
subtly pushing us
through time and places
I looked into his white eyes.
I shouted at him: Speak! My voice
vibrated in the air for a moment,
hit the rocks. The shadow
proceeded slowly
that pathetic trip
through the lost kingdom.
But he said nothing.

I saw hurt, misunderstanding
and more than one old revolt
dividing us in the dark.
The hand that I didn’t want to kiss,
the dish that I was denied,
refusal to ask for forgiveness.
Pride. Night terrors.
But he said nothing.

Speak speak speak speak.
I pulled on by his coat
that crumbled into clay.
By hands, by boots
held the severe shadow
and the shadow fell away
without escape or reaction.
But he remained silent.

And there were distinct silences
that entered yours.
My grandfather was already deaf
wanting to listen to the birds
painted on the sky of the church;
my lack of friends;
his lack of kisses;
our lives were difficult
and a great separation
in the small bedroom area.

The small area of life
presses me against his shadow,
and in this diaphanous embrace
It’s like I got burned
all, of poignant love.
Only today will we meet!
Glasses, memories, portraits
flow in the river of blood.
The waters no longer allow
distinguish your face far away,
beyond seventy years…
I felt like he forgave me
but he said nothing.

The waters cover the mustache,
the family, Itabira, everything.

Legacy and Impact

Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s influence extends far beyond the borders of Brazil. His poetry has been translated into numerous languages, introducing international audiences to the beauty and depth of Brazilian literature. The simplicity and universality of his themes have resonated with readers around the world, earning him a place among the most celebrated poets of the 20th century.

If you want to dive into deeper and more complex themes like Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s poems, we suggest you come study online with us! Be sure that learning Portuguese with our lessons will give you the base to understand his words in the original context, and you will also be able to talk about Brazilian literature!

As we navigate the vast and rich landscape of world literature, Carlos Drummond de Andrade stands as a beacon of Brazilian creativity and expression. His poems continue to inspire, provoke thought, and connect readers to the profound truths of the human experience. In exploring the legacy of this literary giant, we gain not only a deeper understanding of Brazilian culture but also a renewed appreciation for the power of words to transcend time and borders.

What about you? Have you ever read a book by Carlos Drummond de Andrade? Which feelings did the poem Travelling in the Family by Carlos Drummond de Andrade generate in you? Do you think you can already comprehend Carlos Drummond de Andrade poems without the translation in English? Tell us all in the comments!

Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Machado de Assis
Luis Fernando Verissimo
Art from Brazil
Royal Portuguese Reading Room

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for Portuguese Dicas

Tell us which Portuguese lesson you would like to learn


Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Suscribe to A Dica do Dia.

Get free Portuguese lessons. Subscribe to A Dica do Dia and get short, daily lessons in Portuguese completely free.

Based on 321 reviews
I’ve just started online classes with Prof. Ana Carolina & she is the absolute best! It’s my first time learning Portuguese and I was speaking full sentences in the first class. Obrigada!
Katie Andrews
Katie Andrews
Small classes, diverse accents, and engaging professors make Rio & Learn Online a fantastic choice! I've been thrilled with my experience at Rio & Learn Online so far. The small class sizes (around 1-3 others students) allow for personalized attention and plenty of opportunities to practice speaking. What's more, having different professors throughout the program exposes you to various accents, preparing you for real-world interactions. I opted for the full-time program, which involves 2 hours of daily learning from Monday to Friday. After just over 12 weeks, I can confidently say my Portuguese has improved dramatically. The professors are incredibly engaging and encourage students to utilize real-life examples, solidifying the learning process. While I'm only halfway through the program, I'm confident in recommending Rio & Learn Online to anyone seeking to learn Portuguese in a supportive and effective environment. I've gone from being a complete beginner (only knowing hi and bye) to holding conversations - and I'm excited to see how much further I can progress! I'll be back with another review after completing the program, but for now: Rio & Learn Online - highly recommended!
Mona Hinamanu
Mona Hinamanu
I have been taking Portuguese classes with Rio and Learn for a few months. I appreciate their methodology. It is enjoyable and I am challenged and improving every day!
Bryan Beaver
Bryan Beaver
My teachers Lucas, Ana Paula and Paulo were all excellent as well as very friendly and funny. It was a really enjoyable experience and I met loads of interesting new people.
David Smith
David Smith
Rio & Learn e um novo jeito de ensinar a lingua portuguesa. Puro prazer e muito eficiente. Quanto mais alunos na aula mais vida. Eu aconselho voces escolher as aulas grupais por porque sao interativas: rir, falar, argumentar, compartir uma lingua!
Dominique Jacquin
Dominique Jacquin
Après 3 semaines que je suis dans cette école et je peux déjà parler portugais. Certe avec des erreurs mais j'ai fait des progrès fulgurant. En plus, du Lundi au Vendredi l'ecole propose des activitées qu'il appelle "Rio Live" ce qui permet de visiter en même temps Rio tout en parlant Portugais et de rencontrer des gens😃 Toute l'équipe est genial et est prêts à aider si besoin 😁
I've been taking the group online courses with Rio&Learn for 2 months. They offer a fantastic way to learn Portuguese and get speaking practice if you don't live in Brazil. The teachers are engaging and are able to adjust their level of Portuguese to whatever level you are at. Obrigado!
Jake H
Jake H
C'est vraiment fantastique...RioAndLearn. Les cours de portugais...ça vaut vraiment la peine. Les cours ont lieu du lundi au vendredi, (de 9h à 13h) et en après midi, ce sont des activités libres en groupe. (Soccer de plage, volleyball , excursions, visites des lieux touristiques, etc) Vendredi soir, on est allé à Lapa, un quartier nocturne de Rio. C'est quelque chose à voir! Des rues bondées de monde, des orchestres, des discothèques...Allô les décibels! L'apprentissage du portugais se fait en immersion, aussi bien en salle de classe que dans les activités extérieures organisées par Rio&Learn. On est plongé dans la langue portugaise et la culture Brésilienne.... Obligé de parler portugais....🫡 Je le recommande. Pierre Pedro, Montréal, Canada
M54 “M5454” 54
M54 “M5454” 54