Pamphlets series

One of the region’s most important poets.

Art Forum

Dirty Poem

Poetry by Ferreira Gullar

Translated by Leland Guyer

Dirty Poem was written in 1975 in Buenos Aires when Ferreira Gullar was in political exile from the Brazilian dictatorship. An epic work, it draws on the poet’s memories of his seaside adolescence during World War II and deals openly with the “dirty” shamefulness of a socioeconomic system that abuses its citizens with poverty, sexism, greed, and fear. The scholar Otto Maria Carpeaux wrote: “Dirty Poem deserves to be called ‘National Poem’ because it embodies all of the experiences, victories, defeats, and hopes in the life of the Brazilian citizen.” 

Oh, my green city my humid city ever beaten by many winds rustling your days at the entrance to the sea my sonorous city spheres of heavy winds 

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One of the region’s most important poets.

Art Forum

In fine translation from the Portuguese, Leland Guyer captures the richness of language of Gullar’s poetry–from local idioms to the language of displacement.

—Bruna Dantas Lobato, Asymptote Journal

I am a fervent admirer of Ferreira Gullar’s scandalously beautiful Dirty Poem. It makes me feel like a child before a tropical forest or a soaring monument.

—Clarice Lispector