The Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987) usually wrote his poems without rhymes and fixed forms. So, everyone can understand, does not need to be a speaker of the Portuguese language. I’d like to comment a Drummond’s poem.
See the beautiful structure of the poem bellow (translated by me). It talks about the mismatch between lovers:
John loved Teresa that loved Raimundo
that loved Maria that loved Joaquim that loved Lili
that loved no one.
John went to the United States, Teresa to the convent,
Raimundo died of disaster, Maria remained alone,
Joaquim committed suicide and Lili married J. Pinto Fernandes
that had not entered into the story.
Understanding the mecanicism/determinism:
Now, read the poem again from the last verse to the top, making the construction of the relationships between lovers. You're going to understand the mechanic determinism at the poem:
Lili married J. Pinto Fernandes, consequently, Joaquim (who loved Lili) became desolated and committed suicide.
Maria (who loved Joaquim) remained alone, because Joaquim comited suicide and Raimundo (who loved Maria) died of disaster.
Teresa (who loved Raimundo) was desolated because Raimundo died of disaster, so she went to the convent.
John (who loved Teresa) stayed without Teresa because she went to the convent, so he went to the
Other details about the names at the poem:
1- Everyone in this poem shows their first names, except Lili and J. Pinto Fernandes. Why?
2- The poem says "Lili loved no one". So why did she married? She was the only one!
J. Pinto Fernandes is the only person who has family name at the poem. Furthermore, he hides his first name. Why? It give us a clue that J. Pinto Fernandes is a powerful man, a influent person, with a powerful family name. When the poet says "J. Pinto Fernandes that had not entered into the story" he indicated that Lili married Mr. Fernandes just because he is rich (social climbing, interest).
Everyone at this poem has real names (John, Teresa, Raimundo, Maria, Joaquim), but Lili is a codename (or nickname). Lili is not a real name (it's like Bill for William) so she hide her identity (in other words, Lili does not have courage to face life, to face people, so she married for social interest).
Or maybe "Lili" can be "Lillith", the rebel, the first woman on Earth, the symbol of fatal woman (see the Legend of Lillith on Kabbalah for more details).
Observation about the title of the poem:
The title of this poem refers to a popular dance in
which consists in a constant change of partners (remember that the poem talk
about mismatch between lovers). Brazil
P. S: About the dance "Quadrilha", the changing of partners is not in a sexual sense. It is just a constant movement of the dance, there's no body contact, basically just hands in hands. But Drummond uses "Quadrilha" as a methafor.
April, 8, 2008.
|Quadrilha = Brazilian typical dance|