1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Philosopher's Stone

Portuguese Poetry After the April Revolution

The events on April 25, 1974 found most Portuguese writers politically united in a large antifascist front, well-versed in the art of evading the censorship of Salazar and Caetano with all kinds of tricks, in order to convey their message of protest to a socially conscious audience, able to read the calls for change between the lines. Then it became necessary to learn how to write in freedom.(...)

The Revolution, one might say, was born singing, and it has constituted an ideal backdrop for the blossoming of poetry, as it was then understood by men like Carlos Ary dos Santos, Joaquim Pessoa, José Jorge Letria, José Afonso, Adriano Correia de Oliveira, Luis Cília, Manuel Freire, Sérgio Godinho and Francisco Fanhais. Some of those reference names in the sphere of poetry and music have had a great influence in the transformation of the public's taste in the sense of it adhering to poetry as sung, as a weapon against the bourgeoisie. The song was the handier instrument to bring poetry to the people and some of those who already were, or would soon be, consecrated as major voices in the Portuguese poetry of the last few decades, were at that time involved with music in the unique experiment of transforming the material of poetry into a popular matter of necessity and urgency.

José Afonso's song Grandola, Vila Morena, served as a password to trigger the military operations in the early hours of April 25—and Ary dos Santos described it with the following words:

Disse a primeira palavra
na madrugada serena
um poeta que cantava
o povo é quem mais ordena

The first word said
In the silent dawn
was a poet's singing
that the last word was with the people.

Ary dos Santos had such faith in the "united people" that "never again would be defeated" that he was inspired to make a song-poem based on that famous slogan, imported from revolutionary Chile.

Pedra Filosofal, a poem by António Gedeão, written as a eulogy for the future and the transformation of the world, has been heard to the point of satiety in a ballad by Manuel Freire.

Pedra Filosofal

A poem by António Gedeão, Poesias completas/In Movimento Perpétuo, 1956 Music By Manuel Freire


Press Play to Listen


Eles não sabem que o sonho
é uma constante da vida
tão concreta e definida
como outra coisa qualquer,
como esta pedra cinzenta
em que me sento e descanso,
como este ribeiro manso,
em serenos sobressaltos,
como estes pinheiros altos,
que em oiro se agitam,
como estas aves que gritam
em bebedeiras de azul.

Eles não sabem que o sonho
é vinho, é espuma, é fermento,
bichinho alacre e sedento,
de focinho pontiagudo,
que foça através de tudo
num perpétuo movimento.

Eles não sabem que o sonho
é tela, é cor, é pincel,
base, fuste, capitel,
arco em ogiva, vitral,
pináculo de catedral,
contraponto, sinfonia,
máscara grega, magia,
que é retorta de alquimista,
mapa do mundo distante,
rosa dos ventos, Infante,
caravela quinhentista,
que é cabo da Boa Esperança,
ouro, canela, marfim,
florete de espadachim,
bastidor, passo de dança,
Colombina e Arlequim,
passarola voadora,
pára-raios, locomotiva,
barco de proa festiva,
alto-forno, geradora,
cisão de átomo, radar,
ultra-som, televisão,
desembarque em foguetão
na superfície lunar.
Eles não sabem, nem sonham,
que o sonho comanda a vida.
Que sempre que o homem sonha
o mundo pula e avança
como bola colorida
entre as mãos de uma criança.




Manuel Freire is a Portuguese influential left-wing singer and composer, although he also works as a computer technician. Freire was born in Vagos, near Aveiro in 25 April of 1942.

Freire's first work was an EP, released in 1968, with the title "Livre" ("Free"), that included 4 songs. "Livre", "Dedicatória", "Pedro Soldado" and "Eles". The best-known song was "Livre", a hymn to the free will and thought as the album was released during the Fascist regime of Oliveira Salazar, against the official censorship. After that, Freire became a close friend of some of the most influential left-wing musicians like Zeca Afonso, Padre Fanhais or Adriano Correia de Oliveira. Some years later, still during the dictatorial regime, Freire participated in a TV show, in the only Portuguese station operating at the time, RTP, the "Zip-Zip", singing a poem by António Gedeão called "Pedra Filosofal" ("Philosopher's Stone") that became his most well-known song, still broadcast.

António Gedeão (b. Rómulo Vasco da Gama de Carvalho, GCSE, GOIP; November 24, 1906 - February 19, 1997) was a Portuguese poet, essayist, writer and playwright, who also published several works related to science. António Gedeão was an alter ego of Rómulo de Carvalho, who, using his real name was also a professor, teaching chemistry and history of science.


Related:
25 April 1974 Carnation Revolution
In the early hours of 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution began in the Portuguese city of Lisbon. The military forces quickly overwhelmed the government, sparking spontaneous demonstrations in the street, in which civilians ran out ...


1 comment:

  1. Que SAUDADE! Que Gente maravilhosa.
    Belos tempos o " das canções de intervenção".
    Será que agora só nos resta reviver o Passado, através destes extraordinários Homens,com H!
    _______________________________

    Que pena!(Já era.....foi-se!)

    _____________________-

    Termino,pois estou a sentir cheiro a bolor. Está tudo viscoso.Que impressão.

    ReplyDelete

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